NEWS

In Brief

LOIZIDOU CASE

Nicosia hails payout, Turkish official says Ankara will block similar cases Nicosia yesterday expressed satisfaction at the Turkish government’s agreement to pay $900,000 in damages to a Greek-Cypriot woman who was denied access to her home in the Turkish-occupied north of the island. The most significant aspect of the development is Turkey’s acknowledgment of ownership rights, Cypriot government representative Kypros Chrysostomides said. But a Turkish official yesterday stressed that Ankara is looking to legally block some 3,000 similar claims by Greek Cypriots that are pending at the European Court and could reconsider its agreement to pay Titina Loizidou if those cases are not blocked. DRUGS HAUL Border police find 15 kilos of heroin in Albanian woman’s car A search of an Albanian woman’s car at the Kakavia border crossing unearthed 30 packages containing more than 15 kilos of heroin, police said yesterday after arresting the 30-year-old woman. Daniela Sousari, who was destined for the Italian city of Parma, where she is a permanent resident, had planned to take a ferry to Italy from the northwestern port of Igoumenitsa, police said. Meanwhile, a 26-year-old Albanian and a 19-year-old Greek have been arrested following the discovery of 40 kilos of cannabis in their Thessaloniki apartment, police in the northern city said yesterday. PEOPLE SMUGGLING 32 illegal immigrants found in truck Guards at the border village of Soufli, Evros, discovered 32 illegal immigrants inside the tank of a truck ostensibly carrying natural gas, the Athens News Agency reported yesterday. The migrants were hidden inside the tank, which had been equipped with a special manhole and air ducts, according to border guards, who stopped the lorry around 15 kilometers outside the village following a tip-off. The 41-year-old truckdriver, identified only as G.K., was arrested. Murderer sentenced A US county court on Thursday sentenced a 42-year-old Greek-American man to between 25 years and life in jail for murdering his wife in front of the couple’s two children. Nikolaos Costopoulos was found guilty of beating and fatally shooting his wife Carol as she was preparing a Greek Orthodox Easter meal in May 2002. A jury took less than five hours to reach its verdict, rejecting the wholesale meat distributer’s claims that a masked intruder had burst into the family’s home in Manhasset, Long Island, and killed his wife. Russian visit Defense Minister Yiannos Papantoniou is due to arrive in Moscow tomorrow for a five-day official trip during which he is to meet his counterpart Sergei Ivanov and the president of Russia’s defense committee, Andrei Nikolaev. Bilateral cooperation in the defense sectors and Russia’s ties with the EU and NATO are to be the chief focus of talks. Embezzling cashier A court in Komotini yesterday handed down a 20-year jail sentence to a 39-year-old Kavala bank cashier found guilty of embezzling 1.54 million euros from the bank’s customers. Yiannis Kourtakis managed to swindle the money from several mutual funds customers while he was working as acting head of the mutual funds department. Kourtakis admitted that he had embezzled money, but maintained the sum involved was 234,776 euros. Forest adventure A team of police, firemen and rescue workers in the northern prefecture of Xanthi yesterday morning found a 54-year-old doctor and his 10-year-old son who had been missing since Thursday lunchtime after setting off for a trek in a forest near the village of Satres. Aristides Katsaros and his son Nikolaos had set out to take photographs of old bridges in the mountainous area near Satres but lost their way. They were both in good health yesterday. Fraudster doctor A 49-year-old Bulgarian businessman who allegedly posed as a doctor to defraud money from aging Greek citizens on the pretext of bringing them back medicine from Bulgaria has been arrested, police said yesterday. K.M., who was identified by his victims, allegedly targeted elderly Greeks who had been treated at hospitals in Sofia in the past and presented himself to them under the false name of Pavel Tsankov.