NEWS

In Brief

Part of the cash stolen by November 17 during their bank robberies was donated to the poor, the lawyer representing N17’s alleged chief hit man Dimitris Koufodinas told judges at the ongoing trial of 19 N17 suspects yesterday. «(The money) was used for the needs of (N17’s) fighters but also for simple people inside and outside the organization,» Ioanna Kourtovic said. She described N17 members as «a handful of plain people who believed they could use simple means to prove the State was not undefeatable. They just wanted to convey a message of social resistance.» ATTICA DEMOLITION DRIVE Illegally built properties to fall as of Monday despite owners’ protests State demolition teams are to begin knocking down illegally constructed buildings along the Attica coastline on Monday after owners of properties in Porto Rafti, Loutsa and other areas protested at their attempts to make a start yesterday. Property owners asked for a week’s grace to allow them time to demolish the buildings themselves. ACROPOLIS CLOSED Culture Ministry staff strike again The Acropolis is expected to be closed today as Culture Ministry workers stage their second protest outside the site this week, demanding higher pay and permanent contracts. Stock manipulation The Capital Markets Commission yesterday imposed a record 6-million-euro fine on four individuals and 13 companies – including two firms listed on the Athens bourse – for manipulating the price of listed company Informatics in 2002. Air corridors Alternate Foreign Minister Tassos Yiannitsis, and deputy defense and transport ministers Lazaros Lotidis and Manolis Stratakis will today brief Parliament’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on a controversial new accord regulating Aegean civil aviation flight paths. Artist dies The engraver and painter Constantinos Grammatopoulos died in Athens yesterday at the age of 87. The artist is best known for his illustrations in primary school books and his woodcut techniques. Clophen tests The results of tests on blood samples of 124 Finance Ministry employees have revealed no traces of the highly toxic chemical clophen, according to scientists at Athens’s Democritos National Scientific Research Center and the University of Crete cited in yesterday’s Ta Nea daily. However, the scientists told officials at the ministry’s central Athens offices (from which clophen-containing transformers were removed in June following a leak) that decontamination of the building, started in July, must be completed, the daily reported. Ecstasy haul The seizure of 10,000 ecstasy pills from a Dutchman aboard a ferry sailing into the Cretan port of Iraklion is the biggest haul of the drug on the island to date, police said yesterday. Officers found the drugs in two packages concealed in the back doors of a car being driven by the Dutchman. The man, who was not named, denied any knowledge of the drugs. Mature harvest A 70-year-old man and his 65-year-old wife have been charged with cultivating cannabis plants in forestland in the area of Melivia, police in Larissa said yesterday following the couple’s arrest. Officers discovered three plantations containing 142 cannabis plants as well as 47 stems and shoots – from last year’s crop – and a special machine for drying out the plants. This is the third time the couple has been arrested for cultivating cannabis since 1990, police said. Fatal beating A Nigerian man was beaten to death by four other foreigners near central Omonia Square at about 8 p.m. yesterday, police said. The ethnic origin of the four men, who fled after attacking the Nigerian man, was unclear. Usury A border guard and a lawyer from northern Greece were charged yesterday with usury after the lawyer was caught receiving 15,000 euros from a woman who had allegedly borrowed 3,000 euros from the officer.