NEWS

In Brief

MILITARY CHIEF

New head of Joint Chiefs of Staff to assume his post in February Vice Admiral Panayiotis Hinofotis was yesterday appointed the new head of Greece’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Defense Ministry said. Hinofotis, 55, is to take over from current chief Giorgos Antonakopoulos when the latter’s term expires on February 15 next year, the ministry said. The appointment was approved by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis during a meeting of the Government Committee on Foreign Policy and Defense. GREEK-TURKISH TIES Molyviatis has a quiet word with Gul Six formations of Turkish fighter jets yesterday violated Greek national air space 24 times in the central Aegean, military sources said. The 12 Turkish jets were chased off by Greek aircraft and there were three simulated dogfights. Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis yesterday referred to the escalation in violations in talks with his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul at the funeral of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in Cairo. Meanwhile, members of Athens’s Palestinian community and left-wing and human rights groups yesterday evening conducted a candle-lit memorial service for late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in the city’s Eleftherias Park. Museum strike off Guards at museums and archaeological sites yesterday called off planned strike action for this weekend after receiving assurances that they would receive unpaid wages from this year, the Culture Ministry said yesterday. Road rage A motorist yesterday faced an Athens prosecutor for driving into a traffic police officer who was about to issue him a ticket for having illegally parked in a bus lane. The incident occurred on Thursday night when the officer approached the vehicle, which had been illegally parked on a bus lane on Kifissias Avenue in Ambelokipi, and asked the driver to move on. After the motorist refused to move his car, the officer started filling out a ticket, at which point the motorist pulled away. The officer sustained minor injuries to his left leg. Bourboulia The Supreme Court’s first level disciplinary council yesterday upheld a decision to suspend judge Constantina Bourboulia for six months, rejecting an appeal by Supreme Court prosecutor Dimitris Linos for her indefinite suspension. In September 2003, Bourboulia resigned from a probe into the stock market bubble of 1999 after being charged with misconduct. Dog poisoning An Athens misdemeanor court yesterday passed down a nine-month sentence to a man found guilty of poisoning a German shepherd. Georgios Limakis, from Palaio Faliron, had poisoned the dog by feeding it a dead chicken that was laced with a toxic substance, court sources said. Land-mine blast Two people, believed to be illegal immigrants, entered a fenced-off, signposted minefield in the area of Kipoi in Evros late yesterday, causing an explosion, according to a statement issued by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It was unclear late yesterday what the state of their health was, the statement said. Marina blast An explosion at the Zea marina in Piraeus early yesterday afternoon ignited a blaze that destroyed two yachts and damaged two others while injuring two people. Port Authority officials extinguished the blaze before it could spread to adjacent vessels. Two crew members of one of the yachts were hospitalized with minor injuries. It is unclear what caused the blast. Turkish visits The abolition of a $50 (40-euro) tax charged to Turks leaving their country to visit Greece for up to 24 hours applies to those traveling by both sea and land, the Foreign Ministry said yesterday. The duration of the visit can be extended to 72 hours during Muslim religious holidays, the ministry said. Migrant search Police in Crete said yesterday that they had rounded up a total of 41 of the 46 Egyptian illegal immigrants who had escaped from a hotel in Gouves, near Iraklion, on Tuesday evening. The search is still on for the five who are at large, police said.