NEWS

In Brief

SOTIROPOULOU

Prison authorities offer N17 female suspect deal to end hunger strike As the only woman among the 18 imprisoned November 17 terrorism suspects yesterday entered the 17th day of a hunger strike for better detention conditions, Korydallos Prison authorities offered to meet some of her demands. Under the proposed compromise, Angeliki Sotiropoulou, a 40-year-old beekeeper, would be allowed to take exercise with other detained mothers for five hours a day and see her husband, fellow N17 suspect Dimitris Koufodinas, once a month for half an hour. Sotiropoulou, who has a 12-year-old son by another N17 suspect, married alleged N17 chief assassin Koufodinas, 45, in prison on December 11 and promptly launched a hunger strike. All N17 suspects are held in isolation but the men are allowed to take exercise in twos or threes. It was still unclear late yesterday whether Sotiropoulou, who is accused of involvement in the June 2000 Athens assassination of British military attache Stephen Saunders and other N17 hits, had accepted the deal. KASSOS FLOODS Dodecanese island declared in state of emergency following heavy rains The small island of Kassos in the Dodecanese was declared in a state of emergency yesterday after protracted, heavy rainfall caused extensive flooding. Reports said several cars and motorbikes were washed into the sea, while dozens of livestock were drowned and many islanders were trapped in flooded homes. Two navy vessels were en route to Kassos late yesterday carrying aid and supplies. AEGEAN FIGHTS Turkish jets in airspace violations A total of 18 Turkish fighter aircraft, three of which were armed, entered the Athens Flight Information Region in the central and northern Aegean yesterday and in three cases violated Greek airspace. Greek aircraft chased them off, in three cases following simulated dogfights. According to unofficial estimates in Athens, Turkish violations of Greek airspace have quadrupled this year, while there has been an 11-fold increase in simulated dogfights between Greek interceptors and intruding Turkish planes. More trolleys The Hellenic Vehicle Industry (ELVO) has signed a 73.5-million-euro deal with the Athens trolley bus company (ILPAP) to build 130 new trolleys, most of which are to be delivered by the summer of 2004, ELVO said yesterday. Train strike Athens electric railway (ISAP) trains did not run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. yesterday due to a drivers’ strike, which is to be repeated on Monday. ISAP drivers are seeking a collective work contract for 2002. Drunk A Thessaloniki car driver who crashed into a parked car and then refused to undergo a breathalyzer test is not covered by his insurance contract and must pay 7,630 euros to the owner of the damaged vehicle, the Supreme Court has ruled in a decision made public yesterday. Upholding an appeals court decision, the court ruled that the driver, who, according to traffic police, smelled strongly of alcohol at the time of the crash, repeatedly refused to have his blood alcohol level tested because he was drunk. Polatof Greek fashion and stage designer Michael Polatof died of cancer on Thursday at the age of 54. He will be buried today at the Athens Third Cemetery, following an 11 a.m. funeral service at St Dionyssios in Kolonaki. Car scam Five German, Russian and Turkish nationals were arrested on Christmas Day and Boxing Day at the Kipi border crossing to Turkey in Thrace for trying to smuggle three stolen luxury cars out of Greece. The cars had been stolen from Spain and Germany, and were en route for Russia with forged papers, police said yesterday. The suspects were identified as Peter Preub, 29, Atiye Boskurd,18, Sergei Vinokurt, 31, Boris Unakovski, 46, and Alexander Sergei, 41. Forgers Four Greeks have been arrested for selling forged passports to illegal migrants heading through Greece to other EU countries, police said yesterday. The suspects were identified as Michail Zois, 54, Spyros Costouros, 43, Giorgos Raftopoulos, 53 and Costas Gaganos, 30.