NEWS

In Brief

Opposition New Democracy MP Alexandros Lykourezos, one of Greece’s leading lawyers, was yesterday stripped of his parliamentary post on the grounds of recent legislation banning MPs from holding second jobs, following a majority vote (eight votes for, and three against) in the Supreme Special Court. Lykourezos, who has been participating in the ongoing November 17 trial at Korydallos Prison, is to be replaced by ND deputy and veteran actress Maro Kontou. Last month Lykourezos said he would seek recourse with the European Court of Human Rights if he lost his seat. OLYMPIC TRUCE Revival of ancient custom officially launched at IOC session in Prague The Olympic Truce was officially launched yesterday during a session of the International Olympic Committee in Prague attended by Foreign Minister George Papandreou who is promoting the revival of the ancient custom of abandoning war during the Olympic Games. «Wars in the world won’t stop overnight but if we can stop them for 16 days, then maybe we can do it forever,» Papandreou said. The truce has been endorsed by more than 250 leaders including former South African President Nelson Mandela, Pope John Paul II and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. FATAL COLLISION Car driver killed in crash with bus A 26-year-old Georgian national was killed yesterday after a tourist bus collided with the car he was driving over the Stavroupolis flyover in Thessaloniki. Jemal Koulief had been at the wheel of the car when the bus crashed into him before colliding into two parked cars and a derelict building. Fire service workers rescued the 35-year-old bus driver and one female passenger from the wreckage. The bus driver suffered minor injuries. It was unclear how the accident happened. Light deliveries A 28-year-old truckdriver was yesterday charged in connection with the alleged theft of 240,000 euros’ worth of products he was supposed to be delivering on behalf of his employer. Constantinos Hadzinikolaos allegedly stole 18,000 prepaid credit cards for mobile telephones (worth 90,000 euros) which he was due to deliver to Athens airport last Thursday and 120 mobile handsets (worth 150,000 euros) during a journey the following day, Attica police said. Hadzinikolaos has also been implicated in the theft of 33,500 euros from a lottery agent in Aghia Varvara district last December, according to police. Railway fires Fire service workers yesterday afternoon extinguished a series of nine fires along a railway line running between Oinofyta and Kryoneri, some 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Athens. It is unclear how the blazes – which occurred between 3.30 p.m. and 4.30 p.m. – started, whether by a passenger throwing lit cigarettes out of a passing train or as a result of sparks caused by the friction of train wheels on the railway tracks. Papadopoulos to USA Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos is to fly to the USA tomorrow for routine medical tests, a government spokesman in Nicosia said yesterday. Papadopoulos is due to return to Cyprus next Saturday. Taxi mugging Two youths, aged 15 and 18, were detained yesterday after mugging a 59-year-old taxi driver with the help of a Georgian national, according to police in Thessaloniki who are seeking the latter. The trio allegedly stole 200 euros and a mobile phone from the taxi driver after hailing him for a ride and then making him stop the car in the early hours of yesterday morning, police said. The Georgian had wrapped a belt around the taxi driver’s neck and threatened to strangle him, according to police. They were alerted by the driver whom the trio abandoned at a road junction. Eager patient Police in Alexandroupolis yesterday arrested a 30-year-old man who threatened nurses at the northern town’s psychiatric clinic with a loaded gun, demanding treatment. The unnamed man told police he had acquired the double-barreled shotgun from a farmhouse in Komotini.