Police brutality claim ‘untrue’

The Public Order Ministry yesterday denied that two British nationals arrested last week after a brawl with a Plaka shopkeeper were mistreated during police custody. A ministry statement said the claims that the brothers were beaten at the central Athens Acropolis police station following their arrest, together with their mother and stepfather, «bear no relation to reality.» Christian and Frederick Johnson, 23 and 18, respectively, were sentenced on Wednesday to a year each for assaulting Dimitris Karamichalos, 49, during a fight on Sunday after the family dropped some kebabs outside his souvenir shop. Their mother, Vera Johnson, 44, was given three months’ imprisonment for insulting behaviour. «British press reports of police violence against members of the British family are absolutely untrue,» the ministry statement said, adding that the detainees resisted arrest and «continuously insulted the Greek police in English.» It said the British consul in Athens expressed satisfaction at the police’s handling of the affair after seeing the detainees on Tuesday.