Man and woman appear in court to face terror charge over Princes Street Gardens suspicious package

A man and a woman have both appeared in court to face an allegation under the Terrorism Act over a suspicious package which was found in Princes Street Gardens more than three years ago.

By Jamie McKenzie
Thursday, 17th June 2021, 5:26 pm
Police sealed off the area around Princes Street Gardens in January 2018. Pic: Jon Savage
Police sealed off the area around Princes Street Gardens in January 2018. Pic: Jon Savage

Nikolaos Karvounakis, 35, and Artemis Parissi, 32, have been charged with possessing an item in circumstances which give rise to a reasonable suspicion that it is for a purpose connected with the commission, preparation or instigation of an act of terrorism.

The pair, who appeared in private at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Thursday, have also been charged under the Explosive Substances Act with attempting to cause explosion, or making or keeping explosive with intent to endanger life or property.

Karvounakis and Parissi, both from Greece but whose general addresses were given in court as Edinburgh, made no plea and were committed for further examination and remanded in custody. Their next court appearance is expected within eight days.

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They are each facing a third charge of breach of the peace.

The suspicious item was discovered in a public shelter in Princes Street Gardens on January 11, 2018.

Army bomb disposal experts were called in and a controlled explosion was carried out about three hours after the alarm was raised. No one was hurt during the incident.

Detective Chief Superintendent Stuart Houston, Police Scotland’s head of Organised Crime and Counter Terrorism, said officers from Scotland’s Counter Terrorism Unit carried out enquiries following the discovery of the item, including with European partners and law enforcement agencies.

He described it as a “protracted and challenging inquiry” to identify those believed to be responsible.

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