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Friday, 19 July, 2002, 02:18 GMT 03:18 UK
Justice 'within reach' for brigadier's wife
Heather Saunders
Heather Saunders has campaigned for information
The widow of a British diplomat murdered in Greece believes that justice for her husband could be within reach.

Following the first ever arrests of suspected members of the November 17 guerrilla group Heather Saunders said "this does look like the beginning of the end of the saga".

Mrs Saunders, who has two teenage daughters, told The Telegraph newspaper she hoped to confront the alleged killers and ask them what good her husband's death had brought.

Her husband, Brigadier Stephen Saunders, was shot dead by the Marxist group in a drive-by shooting on June 8, 2000.

Greek police said Vassilis Xiros, one of three men arrested, has admitted taking part in the murder.

Determined

"A lot of the families have waited a long time for these people to be caught and now it looks like it has happened," Mrs Saunders told The Telegraph newspaper.

Brigadier Stephen Saunders
Brigadier Saunders was shot four times
"Scotland Yard has always believed that this group was catchable, but never in my wildest dreams did I think they would be caught two years after Stephen was killed."

Mrs Saunders said she was determined to see every member of the group caught and punished.

She said: "I'm not being gory but I want to see it through to the end and I would love to ask them what they think they have gained, what they have achieved by killing Stephen."

Widow's campaign

Mrs Saunders, who is originally from Northern Ireland, said she realised that there was still a long way to go, but she was confident that police would find the necessary evidence.

Following her husband's murder, Mrs Saunders has campaigned tirelessly for a breakthrough, even handing out stickers to motorists in Athens urging them to help police.

She said: "It just seems to have snowballed into a such wonderful series of events that have happened after the last 10 days."

The arrests are seen as a crucial blow against terrorism in Greece, particularly as it will host the Olympics in 2004.

Leader

Police said three men have been charged after confessing to a series of bombings and killings.

They are brothers Christodoulos and Vassilis Xiros - aged 44 and 30 - and their friend Dionisis Georgiadis, 26.

A fourth man, thought to be their leader, is also in custody.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's James Robbins
"With the 2004 Olympics looming Greece knows it faces a huge image problem over security"
See also:

18 Jul 02 | Europe
09 Jun 00 | Europe
08 Jun 00 | N Ireland
13 Jun 00 | UK
08 Jun 00 | Europe
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