NEWS

In Brief

MURDER CONVICTIONS

Life sentences for two who killed pawnshop owner’s daughter in robbery Two men charged with the murder of the 26-year-old daughter of a pawnshop owner in Thessaloniki in February 2001 were yesterday both sentenced to life in prison by a Veria appeals court. Alexandros Alexoudis, 42, and Argyris Skoutelis, 32 – both from the village of Aigeiro in the northeastern prefecture of Rhodope – had stolen 20,542 euros’ worth of jewelry after fatally stabbing Lefkothea Tsenekidou, who was alone in the shop at the time. Alexoudis admitted to stabbing Tsenekidou several times and told the court he had taken cocaine beforehand. Skoutelis said he had tried to stop Alexoudis. KARACHI FIVE ND leader appeals to Musharraf for release of Greek tanker’s crew New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis, acting in his capacity as vice president of the European Peoples’ Party and the International Democratic Union, yesterday sent a letter to Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, asking him to secure the repatriation of five Greek seamen who are under house arrest in Karachi. Karamanlis – who told Musharraf that Pakistan was jeopardizing its ties with the EU – asked Foreign Minister Tassos Yiannitsis to pressure Pakistani authorities to release the crew of the Tasman Spirit, which caused a huge oil spill when it sank off Karachi last August. DETAINEE DEATH Pathological reasons cited An illegal immigrant, who died at a Lagada medical unit after being detained by police in Mygdonia, suffered a brain hemorrhage due to pathological reasons, a Thessaloniki coroner said yesterday. The unnamed immigrant, who had been detained since last Friday pending deportation, had been transferred to the medical unit after complaining of a headache and nausea. Christodoulos backed Bishop Chrysostomos of Paphos yesterday expressed his support for Archbishop Christodoulos’s rejection of a United Nations blueprint for the reunification of Cyprus, which the archbishop on Sunday warned would «de-Hellenize» the island. The Church of Cyprus will call upon its people «to pray and be vigilant during these difficult times for our country,» Chrysostomos said. DIKKI suit Democratic Social Movement (DIKKI) leader Dimitris Tsovolas yesterday testified against television channels he has sued for allegedly failing to present the views of all political parties represented in Parliament and the European Parliament. Tsovolas said he had submitted further data from the National Broadcasting Council which, he claimed, proved that state broadcaster ERT, Mega, Star, Antenna and Alter are breaking the law by not offering proportional coverage to all political parties in the countdown to elections. Plane probe The Civil Aviation Authority (YPA) has launched a preliminary investigation into an unauthorized stop made by a private plane on Monday at a disused military airfield near the Peloponnesian town of Argos, the Transport Ministry said yesterday. YPA has also suspended the license of retired air force officer Ilias Boznos, who caused damage to two parked cars and minor injuries to a woman when he landed the four-seat aircraft and took off again near a group of picnickers, the ministry said. Boznos has been asked to explain why he landed in the disused airfield without authorization, the ministry added. Tax aid The US Embassy said yesterday that an American tax assister of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will be in Athens from March 11 to 17 to answer tax questions for US citizens. The official, who will be available from 8.30 to noon and 1 p.m. to 3.30 p.m. daily, will only answer questions, not fill out tax forms. She will see the public on a first-come- first-served basis, the embassy said. Crime of passion A 30-year-old man fatally shot his girlfriend and then himself after arguing with her at her home in the village of Kranoula, in the northern prefecture of Ioannina, early yesterday. Ioannis Tsakalos shot Lambrini Pantouli, whose age was not made public, in front of her mother and two sons, aged 16 and 20. Pantouli, who was separated from her husband, had been seeing Tsakalos for the past two years but had recently been trying to break off the relationship, neighbors said.