Michalis Koutsoftas

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Michalis Koutsoftas was a Cypriot EOKA fighter during the 1955 - 1959 struggle against the British.

Koutsoftas was born on November 12, 1934 in the village of Palaiometocho, Lefkosia province, the son of Kyriakos and Eleni Koutsofta.

When the struggle broke out on April 1, 1955, Koutsoftas, offered his services and, despite his leftist political views, was initiated into EOKA by local priest Papa-Lefteris.

Koutsoftas' usual task was the raising of the Greek flag in the centre of his village. After the execution of Michalis Karaolis and Andreas Dimitriou, on May 10, 1956, Koutsoftas decided it was time for more radical action. He quit his job and staked out Nicosia Airport where British soldiers were stationed.

On May 16, 1956, Koutsoftas accompanied Andreas Panagidis into the airport grounds and shot Royal Air Force Corporal Patrick John Hale dead. The two men was arrested and sentenced to die. A third companion, Paraskevas Choiropoulis, was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Koutsoftas and Panagidis were executed by hanging on September 21, 1956 along with another EOKA member, Stelios Mavrommatis arrested in a separate incident.

Koutsoftas was survived by his wife Eugenia. He was buried in the Imprisoned Tombs in the Central Jail of Nicosia.