NEWS

In Brief

VATICAN INVITATION

Pope asks Archbishop Christodoulos to visit him in Rome for ‘reconciliation’ Pope Benedict XVI yesterday invited Archbishop Christodoulos, the head of the Church of Greece, to the Vatican to strengthen relations between the Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches. The invitation was conveyed via a cardinal from the Vatican who was attending an event at the Byzantine Musuem in Athens yesterday. Christodoulos said that he would wait to receive an official invitation before replying. ATHLETES’ TRIAL? Prosecutor recommends sprinters be tried for allegedly faking crash Athens prosecutor Andreas Karaflos yesterday recommended that sprinters Costas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou face trial for allegedly faking a motorcycle accident after failing to attend a doping test on the eve of last year’s Athens Olympics. The athletes’ coach at the time, Christos Tzekos, should also stand trial, the prosecutor recommended. (Page 8) MP CHARGES Parliament refuses to lift immunity Parliament yesterday turned down a request from prosecutors for five MPs to have their immunity from prosecution lifted. One of the requests related to charges of slander against ex-deputy finance minister Adam Regouzas. The other four deputies involved were Constantinos Agorostos and Margarita Tzima of New Democracy and Giorgos Dolios and Constantinos Kaiserlis of PASOK, who would have faced charges from their time working in local authorities. Thief next door A 41-year-old man was charged yesterday with stealing the credit card details of people living in the same Athens apartment block as him and running up bills of several thousand euros, police said. Officers investigated the case after a number of residents from the block claimed their credit card statements often disappeared. Police monitored the use of the credit cards over the Internet and traced it to the unnamed suspect before raiding his apartment yesterday morning. Teacher charged A 69-year-old teacher from Athens has been charged with sexually molesting two girls, aged 8 and 13, who were his pupils, police said yesterday. The teacher confessed to molesting the girls during private tuition classes over the past year. Iraqi arrests Two Albanian nationals, aged 22 and 24, have been arrested in connection with the murder of 28-year-old Iraqi Mahmoud Aziz in Menidi, northwestern Athens, police said yesterday. Aziz was shot dead in July. Officers said he had also been struck by fragments from an exploding hand grenade. The suspects allegedly killed the man over money differences linked to drug deals. Bank fraud Three men and a woman faced a prosecutor yesterday for allegedly swindling at least 9,000 euros’ worth of loans from a string of banks in Athens and Piraeus with the aid of forged documents. The alleged fraudsters were arrested on Monday afternoon after staff at a branch of National Bank in Ano Patissia realized that the papers used to approve a loan were fake. A total of 7,000 euros was confiscated from the trio, according to police, who believe other branches may have been conned as well. Fugitives caught Police in Athens said they have arrested two men, aged 36 and 18, who are wanted in Hungary for manslaughter as well as a string of thefts and robberies. The pair were arrested in the district of Vyronas on Tuesday night and will probably be extradited to Hungary, police said. Battery recall Nikon’s rechargeable EN-EL3 batteries, used for digital cameras, are being recalled due to the risk of overheating, the Development Ministry said yesterday. Some 5,000 batteries, which were made during May and September in 2004, have been sold in Greece. Family arrest Police arrested three members of a family in Thessaloniki yesterday after finding in their possession 230 grams of methadone, 4.5 grams of heroin and 9.5 grams of hash, among other drugs, in their house. The father, mother and daughter, aged 44, 43 and 20 respectively, were taken to the prosecutor.