NEWS

In Brief

ARCHBISHOP – Christodoulos cancels visit to Cyprus following US terror Archbishop Christodoulos of Athens and All Greece has canceled a visit to the Church of Cyprus, scheduled for September 25 to October 2, because of conditions that have arisen following the murderous terrorist attack on the United States, which the Church of Greece has condemned. In an announcement, the Holy Synod said the visit was postponed not only because of Cyprus’s sensitive geopolitical position but also because the archbishop felt that his presence was required in Greece for reasons of pastoral duty. Meanwhile, today’s celebrations for the feast day of St. Chrysostomos of Smyrna have been canceled by the Athens Archbishopric for the same reason. The feast day is marked every year by the association of Greek refugees from Asia Minor. CLUB MED French executives fail to gain investigating magistrate’s removal An Athens court yesterday rejected a second petition for the exemption of the magistrate investigating the death of a seven-year-old boy at a Club Med facility in Marathon last month. The accused, Olivier Bergeret, the club’s director in Greece, and Silvain Barberet Girardan, the resort manager, along with three Greek employees, were charged with manslaughter with intent and possible malice after the boy, Axel Blin of France, died of injuries sustained when he was sucked into the water intake pipe of the resort’s swimming pool on August 18. It was the second unsuccessful appeal by Bergeret and Girardin to have Andreas Kranis exempted, claiming that he was biased. OLYMPIC AIRWAYS Employees strike ruled illegal An Athens court ruled yesterday that the 24-hour strike called for today by the Federation of Civil Aviation Employees is illegal. The strike was in protest by Olympic Airways employees to the impending sale of the company. The government is negotiating with a consortium led by Greece’s Axon airlines and is expected to reach a decision by mid-October. Passaris connection. Evelina Karkou, a 22-year-old Romanian woman facing charges of conspiracy in connection with the escape by fugitive murderer Costas Passaris from a police ambush in an Athens apartment last month, was brought before the investigating magistrate yesterday. Karkou is the girlfriend of Passaris’s alleged associate, Romanian national Mario Raducam, whose fingerprints were found in the apartment. She was given until Friday to prepare her defense. On Monday Karkou was found innocent of the charge of harboring a criminal, as the court found that her fingerprints, found on a CD in the apartment, were not sufficient evidence to implicate her. Lost and found. Police in Katerini, northern Greece, have arrested a woman who said she found an abandoned newborn baby outside her farmhouse. Eleni Economicou, 37, later confessed to police that the baby was in fact her own. Police said the woman, who has seven other children, appeared to be isolated and under great financial and psychological stress. She was charged with making a false statement and released. Iceland’s president. President Olafur Grimsson of Iceland arrived in Athens yesterday for an official three-day visit. He met with his Greek counterpart Costis Stephanopoulos and other officials before embarking on a two-day tour of archaeological sites. Russian arrested. Athens police arrested Russian national Igor Rigin, 31, who is wanted in Russia on charges of armed robbery and fraud, it was reported Monday. Rigin, who was living in Greece under an assumed name, is expected to be extradited to Russia. Pilot’s appeal. The Council of State yesterday rejected an appeal by I. Androulakis, the pilot of the Greek government’s Falcon executive jet in which seven people died in a sudden dive on its approach to Bucharest airport in September 1999, for the suspension of sanctions imposed against him. Among those killed in the accident were Alternate Foreign Minister Yiannos Kranidiotis and his son. The Council said that the Civil Aviation Service’s suspension of the pilot’s license for one year, after finding serious infringements of his duty during the accident, should be upheld in the interest of flight safety.