A gunman for the now-defunct Greek extremist group November 17 has been granted a 48-hour furlough from an Athens jail, fueling a political debate on prison sentencing and law and order in Greece.

Dimitris Koufodinas, 59, is serving life for participation in 11 of the extreme left-wing group's 23 assassinations. His victims include the brother-in-law of the current conservative Greek opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who described the furlough as "inconceivable."

Casually dressed and smiling, Koufodinas walked out of Athens' Korydallos prison Thursday and was hugged by a small group of friends and supporters.

The November 17 group evaded police for nearly 30 years until one of its members was arrested after a botched bomb attack in 2002. The group's victims have included U.S. and British officials.