NEWS

In Brief

WWII bids – Action brought against Germany, Greece for Nazi bombing of Corfu The daughter and two granddaughters of a Corfu woman killed when German planes bombed the Ionian island during World War II have tabled a 74.5-million drachma compensation suit against the German and Greek states. Eftychia Dolianiti and her daughters Androniki and Athanassia claim that Greece had shown negligence in not demanding compensation for the victims of the Nazi occupation. Their claim against Germany follows a Supreme Court ruling in favor of a compensation bid by relatives of villagers massacred in Distomo, central Greece, in June 1944. Eftychia Dolianiti’s mother, Androniki, was killed in September 1943 by a German bomb that destroyed her house. Lesperoglou Yet another prosecution witness withdraws initial testimony The last prosecution witness who had been summoned to testify in the trial of alleged terrorist Avraam Lesperoglou yesterday followed the example of all his predecessors in failing to corroborate their initial testimonies against the suspected member of the Anti-State Struggle group. Ioannis Gretsiskas had initially testified that he received, shortly after the 1985 murder of prosecutor Giorgos Theofanopoulos, an anonymous phone call with the description of the killers. But yesterday he said he had no recollection of such a call, having suffered a stroke in 1989. Last week, prosecution witnesses who had originally identified Lesperoglou as one of the men involved in a shootout with police in Gyzi and a bloody supermarket robbery – both in 1985 – retracted their initial testimonies. Aegean incursion Turkish jets chased off Eleven pairs of Turkish fighter jets flew into the Athens Flight Information Region in the northern Aegean yesterday, breaking international air traffic regulations in 13 instances. The F-16 jets, which were reportedly unarmed, were all chased off by Greek fighters. Helicopter crash. Prosecutor Dimitris Asprogerakas yesterday filed criminal charges against all responsible for the January 2000 crash of a helicopter ambulance in foul weather off Cape Sounion with the loss of five lives. Terrorism. Public Order Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis discussed counter-terrorism measures and security for the 2004 Olympics with the new US ambassador to Athens, Thomas Miller, during a meeting yesterday. Fake story? The Athens Journalists’ Union (ESIEA) yesterday denounced as an extreme display of sensationalism and yellow journalism a news item aired last week on Tempo TV news that purported to contain world exclusive footage from Afghanistan. ESIEA is investigating claims by TV journalist Stelios Kouloglou that the footage was actually from Pakistan. ‘No terrorists.’ The Greek Red Cross (EES) yesterday expressed great sadness at what it called unfounded and spurious reports that terrorists were being harbored at its refugee reception centers in Greece (at Lavrion, Nea Makri and elsewhere). Greece and the Greek Red Cross are only trying to help, in the best way possible, people who are suffering and who find refuge here, either for economic reasons or to escape persecution for having different ideas, EES president Andreas Martinis said yesterday. Cyprus alert. Security forces at Larnaca airport in Cyprus were put on full alert on Sunday afternoon after information from US secret services that a plane was likely to be hijacked in the Middle East by Muslim fundamentalists allied with Osama Bin Laden, the Athens News Agency reported. There had also been an FBI warning of a possible terrorist strike over the weekend. Increased security has been in place at the airport since the September 11 terrorist attacks on the US. Air drops. Doctors of the World-Greece yesterday described the air drops of humanitarian aid in Afghanistan as unacceptable. Humanitarian aid is a moral obligation on the part of rich countries toward the Third World and cannot be given in exchange for political or military gains or to ease consciences. (It) cannot be dropped at night in deserted or mined areas, said the organization, which is sending a mission to the Iran-Afghanistan border next week to distribute medicine, food and blankets to Afghan refugees.