NEWS

In Brief

ARSON ATTACKS

Several cars, motorcycles destroyed in three strikes in Athens, Piraeus Arsonists destroyed several cars and motorcycles in three separate attacks in Attica in the early hours of yesterday morning. Shortly before 2 a.m., arsonists set fire to a trash can in Patissia, central Athens, destroying two cars. About an hour later, three motorcycles and two cars, parked at a Kypseli junction, were doused in gasoline and set alight. Two youngsters were seen fleeing on a motorcycle from the Kypseli attack. Meanwhile in Keratsini, near Piraeus, arsonists set fire to four parked cars. No one was hurt in any of the attacks. ANTI-SEMITISM IN GREECE State Department report condemns vandalism, praises gov’t stance A number of anti-Semitic attacks have been carried out across Greece over the past two years despite the Greek government’s public condemnation of such activities, according to a US State Department report made public yesterday. The report, which covers the period from July 2003 to December 2004, draws attention to specific acts of vandalism, including damage to the Holocaust memorial in Thessaloniki last February and the activities of the far-right Chrysi Avgi organization, while praising the Greek government for its stance against anti-Semitism. NIGERIA CORPSE Police probe death of Greek man Police in Nigeria said yesterday they were investigating the death of a Greek man whose body was discovered on Sunday by a roadside in the southern city of Port Harcourt, the hub of the country’s oil industry. The body of Stylianos Anastassiou bore head injuries, according to police. «We do not yet know the circumstances of his death… We cannot rule out murder, but we are continuing our investigations,» a police spokesperson said. Anastassiou had been living in Nigeria for three months and was married to a Nigerian woman, police said. Policeman indicted A Thessaloniki police officer is to face trial for the murder of an 18-year-old youth five years ago after the Supreme Court rejected his appeal, court sources said yesterday. The policeman, identified as G. Atmatzidis, had pursued Nikolaos Leonidis and two youths he had believed to be acting suspiciously on March 25, 2000. He shot Leonidis in the ear with his service revolver after the youth elbowed him while trying to avoid arrest. Atmatzidis claims he acted in self-defense. Ailing singer Popular Greek singer Grigoris Bithikotsis was yesterday in a critical condition in the intensive-care department of Athens’s Ygeia hospital after undergoing surgery on Wednesday for an aneurism. It is the third time that Bithikotsis, 82, has undergone surgery for an aneurism. Elite prostitute A 36-year-old Bulgarian prostitute who allegedly advertised her costly services over the Internet was arrested in an Athens hotel on Tuesday by a policeman posing as a prospective client. According to police, the unnamed woman had promoted herself as a high-class «escort» on her site, which included details of her services, costing as much as 30,000 euros. Dolphin freed A 100-strong team, including Greek rescue workers, on Wednesday saved a dolphin which had been stranded in a lake in southwest Thailand by the tsunami last month, Agence France-Presse reported yesterday. Rescuers netted the white humpback dolphin, carried it to a truck and freed it in the ocean some 500 meters away, AFP reported. Taxi con A 25-year-old Thessaloniki taxi driver, who claimed to have been mugged and thrown out of his vehicle by two passengers, fabricated the story after crashing into a parked car, police said Wednesday. The unnamed cabbie had told police he was forced out of his vehicle at knifepoint by two men who then fled in his cab. But he had actually crashed into a parked car, driven to another district and abandoned his cab there, police said. Trafficking ring Police in Athens on Tuesday arrested three men and two women after confiscating nearly 16,000 ecstasy tablets and 4 kilos of cannabis from their Kallithea apartment. A police raid also found two sub-machine guns, a pistol, and ammunition. The detainees’ identities were not made public but police said the women are mother and daughter.