NEWS

In Brief

DISTRESS CALL

Catamaran takes on water south of Santorini Two ships were to begin evacuating the 163 passengers from the SeaJet 1 catamaran south of Santorini late last night, in strong winds registering 5-7 on the Beaufort scale. The catamaran, headed from Santorini to Crete, emitted a distress signal at 8.40 p.m. when it began to take on water in its front compartment 25 nautical miles south of Santorini. There were also 11 crew members aboard. Two Super Puma helicopters, a C-130 military transport and two tugboats were immediately dispatched to the scene. The Ierapetra ferry and Olympic Countess cruise ship were at its side last night and an evacuation was planned, Merchant Marine Minister Giorgos Anomeritis told a news conference. «The passengers are all well,» he said. POLICE FIREARMS New law on gun use to ensure officers know when to draw New draft legislation revising laws governing police use of firearms was submitted in Parliament yesterday. The bill, made public by the Public Order Ministry last November in reaction to several fatal shootings by officers in recent years, seeks to ensure that police are properly trained to only shoot to kill if in mortal danger or trying to save hostages, but not when innocent bystanders could be hit. PRISON ARREST Korydallos governor in court Korydallos Prison Governor Spyros Athanassopoulos was in court yesterday evening accused of physically and verbally abusing a female lawyer who visited him to discuss an appeal by one of her clients held in the prison. Police arrested Athanassopoulos at his home in Keratsini, Piraeus, after lawyer Elli Rizou brought charges against him on Wednesday for allegedly swearing at her and grabbing her when she refused to listen to his «advice» on which clients she should represent. Serifis ‘coerced’ November 17 terrorism suspect Pavlos Serifis, a 47-year-old telephonist, yesterday claimed he had been coerced into making his original confession following his arrest on July 24. Speaking at the ongoing trial of 19 N17 defendants, Serifis, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, said he had been kept awake for 40 hours before being taken to sign his confession – which he has since retracted – at 2 a.m., without being allowed access to a lawyer. The confession had implicated his cousin and fellow defendant, veteran unionist Yiannis Serifis, 65. Museums closed Museums and archaeological sites across the country will be closed this Sunday and next (June 1 and 8) due to a strike by guards. ELA suspect Sofia Kyriakidou, the estranged former wife of Revolutionary Popular Struggle (ELA) suspect Angeletos Kanas who is believed to have informed on him to counter-terrorism authorities, has been implicated in the activities of the left-wing group and is likely to face trial with her ex-husband, Kanas’s lawyer told a press conference yesterday. Kyriakidou testified before investigating magistrate Leonidas Zervobeakos after being summoned by him on May 16, but was released pending the ELA hearing, the lawyer said. Turkish Cypriots Turkish Cypriots will be granted Turkish nationality on demand under proposals adopted by the Turkish Parliament, Parliament officials said yesterday. Any Turkish Cypriot living in the breakaway state in northern Cyprus who wants to become a Turkish citizen will need only to submit his request to one of the country’s missions abroad or a local authority in Turkey under a new law passed late on Wednesday night. (AFP) Athens borrows The Athens municipal council was expected late yesterday to approve an application for a 140 million-euro bank loan to help repay its outstanding debts and finance works ahead of the 2004 Olympics. Petrol thieves Two men have been arrested for allegedly stealing 7,000 liters of heating oil from five schools in the Athenian district of Peristeri while pretending to clean the tanks, police in Attica said yesterday.. Solar eclipse A partial solar eclipse, due to occur tomorrow between dawn and 7 a.m. (local time) when the moon obscures part of the sun, should be visible in Greece.