NEWS

Naval skinny-dippers convicted of assault

A Hania court yesterday handed down suspended jail sentences of up to 19 months to three Spanish crew members of a NATO naval unit who stabbed two locals after an argument on Friday night. Alvaro Fernandez, Yernar Muran and Antonio Santana, aged 21-26, were found guilty of bodily harm with intent, illegal use of and carrying a weapon and indecent behavior. Fernandez was given 19 months in jail and his compatriots received five-month terms. Their sentences are suspended, and they have the right to appeal. The three men, who all serve on the Spanish navy frigate Reina Sofia, currently docked at the nearby US naval base in Souda Bay for a NATO exercise, started arguing with two locals who objected to their lewd behaviour. Police said the Spaniards had been swimming naked in Hania’s old harbor. The Cretans received minor cuts to the face and arm.