A convicted gunman from the armed far-left group November 17 has been granted a prison leave for the second time in three months, drawing protests from Britain and the United States.

Dimitris Koufodinas, 60, is serving life for participating in 11 of the group's 23 assassinations, including of diplomats and military officials from the U.S., Turkey and Britain. He was granted a 48-hour leave, and walked out of an Athens prison where he was greeted by relatives and friends.

Heather Nauert, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department condemned his temporary release, adding: "We fundamentally believe that convicted terrorists do not deserve a vacation from prison."

Koufodinas and 15 others were arrested and convicted after one of the group's members was seriously injured in a failed bomb attack in 2002.