Roupa and younger woman charged are remanded in custody – Roupa’s child not arrested

Greek authorities on Friday pressed fresh charges of forming a terrorist organisation against recaptured terrorist Panayiota “Pola” Roupa, in addition to the 48-year-old’s existing convictions for her role in the terror group “Revolutionary Struggle”.

Roupa and a 25-year-old woman arrested with her on Thursday were charged with criminal counts of forming a terrorist organisation, aggravated by the construction, supply and possession of weapons and explosives, and theft with the intent to commit terrorist acts, as well as with lesser charges of forgery and refusing to submit to fingerprinting. Both women were remanded in custody after their appearance before a public prosecutor.

Meanwhile, the justice ministry issued an announcement in response to Roupa’s claim that her six-year-old child had been “abducted” by the authorities, stressing that the child was neither under arrest nor detained. In a formal complaint she filed with a public prosecutor, Roupa claimed authorities were holding the child and refusing to turn it over into the custody of her mother and sister, in accordance with her wishes. As she was leaving the prosecutor’s office on Friday, Roupa shouted that the child was being held under guard at the children’s hospital as “a prisoner of war” and repeated her demand that the boy be put in the care of her mother and sister.

The justice ministry clarified that the child had simply been put into care, under the supervision of trained experts, until a final decision assigning custody, while arrangements had already been made to ensure regular contact between the child and the members of his immediate family. A formal request that Roupa’s mother and sister be given temporary custody was submitted to a prosecutor for juveniles on Thursday but authorities note that the relevant procedures take time, since it must be confirmed that the family members proposed meet the necessary requirements.

“Ensuring the best interests of the child is foremost and this will be judged by the established bodies, as happens in any similar case,” the ministry said.

In a written statement, Roupa was defiant regarding the charges against her, saying she was a revolutionary and that she had “nothing to apologise for.” The “terrorists, criminals and thieves” were the economic elite and the governments implementing the bailout memorandums, she said.

The younger woman arrested with her identified herself as an anarchist and a member of “Revolutionary Struggle” and announced the start of a hunger and thirst strike to demand that Roupa’s child be released into the care of its family.

Roupa and the child’s father Nikos Maziotis, also convicted for his part in “Revolutionary Struggle”, started a hunger strike on Thursday, claiming the police were refusing to hand over custody of their six-year-old son to Roupa’s relatives as revenge for “choosing the armed struggle”.

Roupa was arrested early on Thursday, after being on the run since July 2012 when she disappeared with Maziotis while on conditional leave after serving the maximum of 18 months in pre-trial custody.