NEWS

In Brief

MURDER CONVICTION

Man gets life sentence for killing former Thessaloniki police chief A Thessaloniki appeals court yesterday sentenced Giorgos Hadzopoulos to life imprisonment for the December 1998 murder of the former Thessaloniki police chief Dimitris Karagounis, court sources said. Karagounis, who was the owner of a private security firm at the time, was shot dead when he tried to stop Hadzopoulos and his accomplice Giorgos Hadziparaskevas from robbing one of the company’s guards. Hadziparaskevas was sentenced to 17 years in jail. FOOD CRACKDOWN Seven firms fined 97,000 euros The Hellenic Food Authority (EFET) fined seven food companies a total of 97,000 euros for breaching regulations, it said yesterday. The largest fine (58,700 euros) was given to dairy company Kolios for selling cheese imported from Austria as local produce. Arson attacks Five cars were damaged in an arson attack in the Athenian district of Peristeri early yesterday morning, police said. Unidentified arsonists placed a homemade explosive device under the car of a civil servant, destroying it entirely and causing serious damage to four other vehicles parked nearby. Icon visit A Byzantine-era icon of Demetrios, patron saint of Thessaloniki, is to be flown to the city from Italy’s Sasso Ferrato museum, it was revealed yesterday. Thessaloniki authorities have been pushing for the 13th century gold-plated miniature to be put on public display in the city ahead of Greece’s national holiday on October 28. Lufthansa backtracks Lufthansa distanced itself yesterday from the comments made by one of its employees on Wednesday that the German airline will take up the routes left behind by Olympic Airlines (OA), along with rival Aegean, in the event OA closes down. Vice president of marketing and sales Walter Heerdt responded to complaints made by OA over the comments, saying no such decision has been made by Lufthansa and that his company hopes to keep working with the Greek airline. Camera destroyed A closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera used for monitoring traffic was set on fire and destroyed on a major road in Maroussi, northern Athens, in the early hours of yesterday morning, police said. Dozens of similar cameras, installed for last year’s Olympics, have been destroyed by arsonists this year. Missing fisherman Rescue services yesterday continued a sea and air search off the Thermaic Gulf for a 31-year-old fisherman who has been missing for almost a week. Rescue workers discovered the fisherman’s boat on Thursday moored to the coast of Methoni in the prefecture of Pieria – empty but with its engine still running. The fisherman, who has not been named, left the banks of the Aliakmon River estuary early on Sunday and has not been seen since. Driver killed A 20-year-old man was killed in Thessaloniki yesterday when his vehicle veered off the road and crashed into the curb, police said. In a separate incident, a 44-year-old passenger was killed in a car accident in Veria, northern Greece. The driver suffered minor injuries. Armed trio Police were hunting yesterday for three armed robbers, thought to be foreigners, who raided two houses in eastern Attica and made off with a Mercedes, some 2,000 euros in cash and various valuables. The first theft occurred at about 4 a.m. in Kalyvia where the masked men held up a couple in their home and stole 900 euros. Then they raided a house in Markopoulo, tying up a man and his son before making off with 1,000 euros and their car.