NEWS

In Brief

DODGY FOOD

Watchdog fines 12 firms for not keeping to safety standards The Hellenic Food Authority (EFET) yesterday fined 12 companies a total of 67,000 euros for violations of food safety standards. The watchdog also referred the firms to the relevant prosecutors. The biggest fines were for a company responsible for the canteen at the Ippocrateio Hospital (20,000 euros), which had stored food unfit for human consumption, and for Zakoma, a processed-food company from Thessaloniki (also 20,000 euros), which breached health regulations on food packaging. GRANDCHILD ACCESS Supreme Court says grandparents must be allowed to see grandchildren The Supreme Court, in a ruling made public yesterday, has upheld a civil code ruling that requires grandparents to have access to their grandchildren unless there are serious reasons to keep them apart. The decision comes after the court rejected an appeal by a widowed mother who asked that she not be required to make her children available each week for a three-hour visit by her mother-in-law. The mother claimed that legal wrangling within the family after her husband’s death were affecting her children. MURDER MYSTERY Police investigate Kifissia shooting Investigations concerning the murder of businesswoman Anna Avgoustinou in Kifissia, northern Athens, earlier this week were focusing on the victim’s personal and professional contacts, police said yesterday. Avgoustinou was shot twice on Monday as she entered the garden of her house after finishing work at the bakery she owned. Police found 800 euros in her purse and have ruled out theft as a motive. The 41-year-old mother of one had recently separated from her husband. Bourboulia warrant The Appeal Court Council yesterday issued an arrest warrant for former judge Constantina Bourboulia who has been charged with abuse of power and money laundering. In June, Bourboulia was sentenced to three years and 10 months in jail for mishandling, between 2000 and 2002, a probe into stock market improprieties and of accepting bribes. Blackmail charge An Athens prosecutor charged a 62-year-old man with blackmail yesterday after he was arrested on the premises of Alpha television channel on Monday in possession of 150,000 in marked banknotes. Police said they arrested Efstratios Maslis on suspicion of having blackmailed one of the channel’s top executives, and a former director of the Interamerican insurance group. Maslis allegedly threatened to release details of supposed mismanagement at Interamerican offices in Germany, where he once worked. Emergency landing A Cyprus Airways plane traveling from Larnaca to Athens made an emergency landing on the island of Rhodes yesterday after the plane’s air-conditioning system had problems. The airline said that another plane was sent to Rhodes to take the 149 passengers to Athens. Cephalonia earthquake An earthquake measuring 4.9 on the Richter scale shook the western island of Cephalonia early yesterday, authorities said, but no injuries or damage were reported. The earthquake, which had its epicenter in the undersea area south of the island, struck at 1.17 a.m. Green light The University of Macedonia is set to be the first organization in Greece in both the public and private sector to be given approval under the EU’s LIFE Environment program, university authorities said yesterday. The university has adopted a range of measures to limit the impact that it has on the environment by reducing the use of consumables such as paper and ink, but also making students more environmentally aware. Lefkada trial A judge on the holiday island of Lefkada postponed the trial yesterday of five people charged with manslaughter over the 2003 death of 11-year-old British vacationer Laura Morgan, who was trapped under a catamaran and drowned. The trial was postponed until March 21 of next year after one of the defendants was not properly summoned to appear in court and was not represented by a lawyer. (AP)