NEWS

In Brief

ELA TRIAL

Prosecutor calls for suspects’ appeals for trial by jury to be rejected The main prosecutor at the Revolutionary Popular Struggle (ELA) terrorism trial, Eleftherios Patsis, yesterday called for the rejection of appeals by two defendants – Christos Tsigaridas and Michalis Kassimis – for their cases to be heard by another court. The suspects claim that their alleged crimes are of a political nature, and should therefore be heard by a jury court instead of the three-judge criminal court that is now trying them in a Korydallos Prison courtroom. Also yesterday the court rejected Tsigaridas’s appeal for televised coverage of the trial. AUDACIOUS FRAUD Man allegedly tried to swindle the National Intelligence Service A Thessaloniki misdemeanors council has indicted a man who allegedly tried to defraud the National Intelligence Service (EYP) of 110,000 euros through a forged check, court sources said yesterday. In June 1999, Efstratios Papapostolou allegedly forged a check for the above sum, using EYP’s account number at a branch of the National Bank. He then tried to cash the check at another bank using a forged ID. Papapostolou was arrested in July 2001 by police who confiscated dozens of forced checks and seven forged ID cards. BYZANTINE PLATE APPEAL Parliament contributes 146,735 euros Greece’s Parliament will contribute 146,735 euros toward the sum of 2.2 million euros that a foreign-based antique collector is asking Greece for a set of nine Byzantine silver dinner plates dating from the 12th century, according to a decision by Parliament Speaker Apostolos Kaklamanis made public yesterday. The donation is a response to an appeal by the Benaki and Byzantine museums of Athens and Thessaloniki for contributions from the public to help secure the purchase of the rare Byzantine silver. The government has agreed to pay half the asking price for the plates, which are believed to have been made in Constantinople. Fishermen safe The five-strong crew of an Italian fishing boat, who were stranded in a lifeboat off the Peloponnesian port of Pylos early yesterday after being struck by an unidentified cargo ship, were later rescued by a Turkish vessel, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. The Louisa had issued a distress signal overnight, according to the ministry which dispatched a patrol and rescue helicopter. The Turkish vessel was due in Elefsina later yesterday, the ministry said, adding that a search was under way for the unknown cargo ship that struck the Italian boat. Bureaucratic blunder A letter the Public Order Ministry sent to the relatives of a 33-year-old motorcycle policeman – killed while on duty in Athens last November – asking them to pay back part of the officer’s forward pay, was a bureaucratic blunder, the ministry said yesterday. Panayiotis Dimou died during a car chase in the middle of November but had been paid in advance for the entire month. The request for the 546 euros was «issued within the context of accustomed bureaucracy… due to an oversight,» the ministry said, adding that it had offered both moral and financial support to Dimou’s family. Passenger privacy The Hellenic Data Protection Authority has issued state carrier Olympic Airlines with a three-month permit that allows it to provide US authorities with details of passengers traveling to the US, according to a decision by the authority which was made public yesterday. However, the airline can only forward passenger details to authorities in the US if it receives explicit approval from the passengers in question, according to the decision. Stores closed Supermarkets in Athens and most other cities nationwide will be closed next Monday in observation of the Clean Monday holiday (the first day of Lent). Supermarket owners across the country have proposed opening stores for a few hours for consumers to do their shopping for the holiday. Lethal cold An 80-year-old woman, whose corpse was discovered in her apartment in Thrakomakedones, northwestern Athens, by neighbors on Sunday afternoon, probably died of hypothermia, police said. Officers ruled out foul play in the death of Anastassia Pavli.