NEWS

In Brief

CABBIE HELD

Taxi driver charged with muggings says he had to support unborn child A 23-year-old Athens taxi driver, charged with a string of muggings on customers in his cab over the last two weeks, was remanded in custody yesterday after testifying before a magistrate. Ioannis Soulis allegedly carried out the robberies with the help of an accomplice who posed as a customer and used a fake gun. Police tracked him down on Monday after his last victim noted his registration number. Soulis, who has been identified by another three of his alleged victims, told the magistrate he robbed so he could support his soon-to-be-born child, judicial sources said. SAILORS SENTENCED US servicemen jailed for 6 years for violent mugging of Cretan woman A Cretan appeals court has sentenced two US sailors to six years each in jail for beating and robbing a Hania woman in a drunken frenzy in February 2002, the Eleftherotypia daily reported yesterday. The court took into account the young age and previous clean records of Joshua Vossler and Steven Wright, both 20, the daily said. Originally, the two servicemen had received 10-year jail sentences and a fine of 30,000 euros. The two men said the incident was a result of their drunken state. ROADWORKS Motorists face trouble on Kifissias Ave Kifissia-bound traffic on Kifissias Avenue will be restricted to two lanes on the section between Paradeisou and Fragoklisias streets until Wednesday, December 16 to allow for the completion of works on the local interchange, the Public Works Ministry said yesterday. Tomorrow, Piraeus-bound drivers on the Athens-Lamia national road will be barred from using the left-hand lanes for a 200-meter stretch before the Vryoulon bridge from 7.30 a.m. until midnight. Biker held A 22-year-old unemployed man, accused of having caused the death of a motorcycle policeman during a high-speed bike chase through central Athens two weeks ago, was remanded in custody yesterday after testifying before an investigating magistrate. Christos Dimopoulos, who allegedly kicked 33-year-old policeman Panayiotis Dimou, causing him to lose balance and crash into a traffic light, has been charged with murder with possible malice aforethought. Dimopoulos denies having touched Dimou. Railway disruptions There will be no service on the Piraeus-Kifissia urban electric railway on the stretch between Tavros and Piraeus from this morning until tomorrow night due to work on the route’s signaling system. Replacement buses will be available. From Monday, the platform for Piraeus-bound passengers at KAT station will reopen and the Kifissia-bound platform will close for work. Cheeky thief A thief stole a briefcase belonging to an Israeli International Olympic Committee member visiting Athens during a speech on Olympic security on Tuesday by IOC President Jacques Rogge, police said yesterday. The unidentified thief took the bag – containing committee documents and an unspecified amount of cash and credit cards – from a limousine being used by Alex Gilady while it was parked outside the offices of the Greek Olympic Committee. Taverna killing Police were yesterday searching for a 31-year-old suspect believed to have fatally shot a 70-year-old man in a taverna in the village of Kokkala, in the Peloponnesian prefecture of Laconia, on Thursday night. Police said they knew the assailant but refused to identify him and that they had found his car abandoned on farmland some 5 km from the scene of the crime. Officers attributed the attack on Drakoulis Kouvaris to «family differences,» without elaborating. Iraqi children A group of 28 Iraqi children with severe health problems as a result of the recent war is to arrive in Greece tomorrow for medical treatment. The children were selected by a team of medics from the organization Doctors of the World with which the Foreign Ministry cooperated for the mission. Teachers protest Secondary school teachers yesterday staged a protest outside the Education Ministry in central Athens and participated in two three-hour work stoppages, from 11 a.m. and from 2 p.m., respectively.