updated 12/17/2003 7:34:08 AM ET 2003-12-17T12:34:08

The leader and chief assassin of Greece’s November 17 terrorist cell were sentenced Wednesday to multiple terms of life imprisonment.

An anti-terrorist tribunal sentenced Alexandros Giotopoulos, 59, the leader of the group, to 21 life terms. It also sentenced Dimitris Koufodinas, 45, the terror group’s main hit man, to 13 life terms. Four other men that made up the core group of November 17 gunmen received sentences ranging from one to 10 life terms.

The decisions make parole virtually impossible for most of the men. Greece does not have the death penalty.

The three-member court also was to sentence another 13 men for participation in November 17, once Greece’s most elusive and feared terrorist group.

The same court on Dec. 8 convicted the 15 men following a nine-month trial. Four defendants were acquitted because of lack of evidence.

November 17 is blamed for 23 murders and dozens of rockets and bomb attacks since 1975. The victims included four U.S. officials, two Turkish diplomats and a British defense attache.

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