Journalist gunned down in AthensBallistics tests on cartridges collected from the crime scene have linked the dawn shooting of journalist Socrates Giolias to the terror group "Revolutionaries' Sect", police announced on Monday.
The ambush killing was quickly condemned by the country's political leaders.
Giolias, 37, general director of the private Thema 98.9 FM radio station and long-time former associate of investigative journalist Makis Triantafyllopoulos, was riddled with bullets outside his home in Ilioupolis by unidentified individuals in the early hours of Monday morning.
A ballistics investigation of cartridges collected from the scene of the shooting revealed that both weapons have been used in all three past attacks by the terror group "Revolutionaries' Sect".
Police found a total of 16 9mm cartridges, of which 13 came from the same gun used in the June 2009 murder of 41-year-old counter-terrorism police officer Nektarios Savvas, who was gunned down in Patissia while guarding a key female witness in the trial of the urban guerrilla group "Revolutionary Popular Struggle". The woman had been in a witness protection programme since 2002. Officer Savvas was also riddled with bullets in the attack.
The remaining three were fired from a different 9mm pistol that had also been used in the Patissia attack, as well as in the armed attack on Korydallos police station in February 3 2009 and an attack on Alter television station on February 17 the same year.
The cartridges fired by the specific gun are also a match for a cartridge found on the gravestone of Alexandros Grigoropoulos, a teenage boy shot by two police guards in December 2008, on the day after the attack on the Korydallos police station, along with a proclamation claiming responsibility for the specific attack.
According to a statement to police by Giolias' wife, an unknown man rang the doorbell of their second-floor apartment at about 5:20 a.m. and when Giolias opened the door the man told him that the alarm of his car, parked outside the apartment building, had gone off.
When Giolias descended to the building entrance where he had parked his car, the gunmen were waiting in ambush and shot him several times as he came out of the elevator, killing him on the spot.
The perpetrators, tentatively believed to be three, fled in a car.
At around 7:00 a.m. a burned car was found approximately 1.5 kilometers from the murder scene, and police believe it was the killers' getaway car. The car had been stolen from nearby Alimos two days earlier (Saturday, July 7) and its theft had been reported by the owner to the local police station.
The motives of the killing are still unknown, and police are examining all possibilities.
According to an eye-witness account, the perpetrators were at least three and were wearing uniforms, possibly of a security company or the municipal police.
Based on the method used and ferocity of the attack, police initially surmised that it was a contract killing, since the attack was well-organised.
Giolias' wife, who has suffered an intense shock, and the couple's 3-year-old child were in the apartment at the time of the killing.