NEWS

In Brief

PUBLISHER INDICTED

Far-rightist Michalopoulos to be tried on blackmail charges, court rules An Athens court yesterday indicted far-rightist publisher Grigoris Michalopoulos on charges of blackmail for allegedly telling businessmen and a top churchman they were November 17 targets and demanding hundreds of thousands of euros to have them removed from the terror group’s hit list. The ruling followed the rejection of an appeal lodged by the Eleftheri Ora newspaper’s owner against an indictment issued against him earlier this year. MATRICIDE Man alleged to have cut off his mother’s head faces a magistrate A 34-year-old Cretan who allegedly beheaded his mother and boiled her head is today to face an investigating magistrate after being charged with homicide and desecrating a dead person. Yiannis Karalakis was arrested on Tuesday after he called his father to inform him that he had decapitated his mother in his Hania home. Maria Karalaki, 65, was buried yesterday. N17 CONVICTS Lawyers criticize detention conditions Lawyers representing convicted members of the November 17 terror group have sent a petition to the Justice Ministry complaining about their clients’ detention conditions in Korydallos Prison, the ministry said yesterday. The petition, which was forwarded to the national Medical Association and the European Court, criticized the inmates’ isolation, the cells’ alleged lack of light and air and the convicts’ planned transfer to Larissa Prison. The lawyers asked Minister Anastassis Papaligouras to visit Korydallos. Sports panorama An initiative to familiarize the public with less well-known Olympic sports such as baseball, softball, trampolining and archery – to run for six days at Syntagma metro station from next Tuesday – was unveiled yesterday by Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyannis. The Panorama of Olympic Sports, a joint initiative of the Athens Municipality and Alpha Bank, will involve athletes and coaches displaying their techniques and inviting the public to participate. The program has already been presented in more than 70 towns. Taxi hijacked A man and woman, believed to be drug addicts, yesterday held up a female taxi driver at knife point in Thessaloniki’s Stavroupolis district before dropping her off and fleeing with the cab, police said. The man, 25, and woman, 37, crashed into a street light while being chased by police. They were arrested and police found the taxi driver’s mobile phone, 25 euros and a small quantity of heroin on them. Robber caught A robber who fled in his car after taking 9,760 euros from the ATM of a Postal Savings Bank in Zografou was spotted driving around the same Athenian district after the holdup on Tuesday and was arrested, police said yesterday. The man, who had used a fake gun to force bank clerks to open the machine, told police that he has carried out another six bank robberies over the past year, using his car to get away every time. Roadworks Roadworks on Kifissias Avenue will cause disruptions for Athens-bound traffic at the Faros junction in Psychico late on Sunday. The works, which will affect the section between the Aghia Varvara junction and Adrianou Street, will start at midnight and finish at 6 a.m. Anti-war rally Members of left-wing groups yesterday staged a rally outside the US Embassy in central Athens in protest at the ongoing US presence in Iraq and American policy in the Middle East. It coincided with the anniversary of the start of 1967-74 dictatorship in Greece. Hash haul Albanian police yesterday seized 455 kilograms (about half a ton) of marijuana which had been bound for the Greek border, The Associated Press reported. The drug was found in a truck’s trailer at a gas station near the southeastern town of Bilisht, police said. ATM lifted Unidentified thieves, probably using a truck, stole an ATM machine from outside a supermarket in Efkarpia, Thessaloniki, early yesterday. The amount of cash in the machine was not known yesterday. Visit Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis and his South Korean counterpart Ban Ki-Moon will meet today.