Junta Ringleader Dies in Greece
Dimitrios Ioannides, one of the Greek junta leaders who planned the attempted coup to remove President Makarios, has died in Greece, said the Athens News Agency.
He was 87 and died of respiratory failure in a Piraeus hospital after being transferred from a prison where he was serving a life sentence.
During the military junta in Greece (1967-1974), Ioannidis was chief of the feared Greek military police (ESA). In November 1973, he turned on his former leader Georgios Papadopoulos and took over as the 'invisible dictator'. A 1973 article in TIME magazine described him as a 'rigid, puritanical xenophobe' who had never been outside Greece or Cyprus.
The attempted coup d'etat he masterminded in Cyprus was used by Turkey as an excuse to invade the island in July 1974, followed by a second wave of military action in August which brought Greece and Turkey to the brink of all-out war. His death comes amid events in Cyprus marking the anniversary of the Turkish invasion and subsequent occupation lasting 36 years.
The other coup leaders were tried in 1975 and jailed in Korydallos. Papadopoulos died in 1999, aged 80. The only surviving junta leader is Brigadier Stylianos Pattakos, who has been freed from jail.