NEWS

In Brief

XEROS BACKS OFF

November 17 hitman to drop lawsuits on hospital ‘torture’ Convicted November 17 hitman Savvas Xeros said he has decided against suing doctors and police officials who he said tortured him in an Athens hospital after his arrest in June 2002, according to a statement published in the press yesterday. Throughout his detention and trial, Xeros insisted that he was given mind-altering drugs to force him to confess to N17 membership and provide incriminating evidence against other suspects. «Let God and our deeds be the sole judge of our rights and wrongs,» he said. Xeros is an icon-painter, His father is a priest. SPLATTER SPAT Psychiatrists defend schizophrenics against horror film slur Greek psychiatrists have called on local film distributors to change the Greek title of a Hollywood remake of the «Texas Chainsaw Massacre,» saying it insulted schizophrenics, Agence France-Presse reported yesterday. The remake of the original 1974 cult horror movie – which was screened in Greece as «The Schizophrenic Murderer with the Chainsaw» – will be shown in Greek cinemas from tomorrow. Distributors said they could not change the title but that they would precede the movie with a sentence explaining that schizophrenics are not necessarily killers, AFP said. EL GRECO Painting will not go to London A 16th century El Greco painting will not be sent to London for display at a National Gallery exhibition, the director of the Historical Museum of Crete said yesterday. Manhattan’s State Supreme Court last week rejected a suit filed by Swiss resident Joram Deutsch claiming the painting had belonged to the Halvany family in Budapest – for whom he claimed his father had been lawyer – before being stolen by Nazis during World War II. Deutsch is now threatening to sue British auction house Sotheby’s, which sold the piece to the Cretan museum in 1990. Storm warning The National Meteorological Service warned yesterday that heavy rain and thunderstorms will hit western Greece late in the evening and spread across the rest of the mainland, and the eastern Aegean and Dodecanese islands today. It added that strong southerly winds in the Aegean would reach up to 10 on the Beaufort scale today. Robberies Two Albainian nationals who robbed a bank in Malesina, Fthiotida, yesterday were caught by police after a car chase which culminated in a shootout in which both robbers were slightly injured. The duo had stolen 9,500 euros. Meanwhile, in Athens, four robbers netted an undisclosed sum after breaking into a bank in Ano Patissia using a sledgehammer just before 3 p.m. In Thessaloniki, a gunman stole 20,000 euros from a bank in Kato Toumba. Blackmail trial A man is to stand trial for allegedly blackmailing the surgeon who operated on his father in Thessaloniki, Ta Nea daily reported yesterday. The suspect allegedly asked the doctor to pay him back 1,900 euros he had paid for his father’s treatment. On receiving the sum, he demanded 14,000 euros more from the doctor, whom he threatened to «expose» to the media, the daily said. The doctor informed police, who gave him 4,500 euros in marked bills to give to the son. There have been several cases of doctors demanding bribes from patients, but this was a first instance of extortion working the other way. Anti-racism rally Members of 50 anti-racist groups, non-governmental organizations and immigrants’ movements are to stage a demonstration at Omonia Square on Saturday, European Day for Anti-Racism Action. Summer festival The annual Hellenic Festival at the Herod Atticus Theater in Athens and at Epidaurus will be extended this summer to coincide with the Olympics, it was announced yesterday. Dora Stratou Athens’s Dora Stratou Folk Dance Theater is to remain at its current venue in Philopappou for the next three years before it moves to a new site behind the city’s observatory, according to a decision issued by the Central Archaeological Council late on Tuesday. The theater has been staging performances of traditional Greek folk dances since 1953.