NEWS

In Brief

CYPRUS MEETING

Clerides-Denktash to discuss 1974 missing Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides will meet Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash this Friday in the presence of the UN Secretary-General’s special representative in Cyprus Zbigniew Wlosowicz, Cypriot government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said yesterday. Papapetrou said the meeting, arranged by the two leaders over the phone, will take place at Wlosowicz’s house and will focus on determining the fate of those missing from Cyprus since the 1974 Turkish invasion. The two leaders are scheduled to start UN-mediated negotiations on January 16. ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS Aydin Captan crew get 10-year prison sentences A court in Crete yesterday sentenced the captain and engineer of the human-trafficking ship Aydin Captan to 10 years each in prison and to a fine of 1.4 million euros. Mejdet Sezer and Yasar San had been held in the town of Neapoli in the prefecture of Lasithi since their arrest on Thursday when 246 illegal immigrants – mostly Iraqi Kurds – were rescued from the stricken vessel. The ship had been drifting in the Libyan Sea since its engines broke down amid gale-force winds on New Year’s Day. Swallowed whole Road gives way The road gave way yesterday under a truck parked at the junction of Periandrou and Pittakou roads in Athens’s Plaka district, swallowing the vehicle in a two-meter hole. Conflicting explanations say the sudden subsidence was due to the effect on the road of melting snow, metro construction or an underground water leak but the cause of the incident is not yet clear. AIDS tests Employees of the State Chemical Laboratories are protesting against a Supreme Court ruling obliging them to conduct examinations of syringes which might be infected with the virus that causes AIDS if required to do so by police or investigating authorities. The court ruling followed a refusal by laboratory staff to handle syringes used by drug addicts for fear they could contract the virus through contaminated blood or remnants of narcotic substances. The court ruled the staff were obliged to provide police with their expert support and the AIDS risk was an occupational hazard it was their responsibility to protect themselves against. But the ruling included guidelines for police on how to prepare syringes for safe handling. Writer dies Writer and resistance fighter Andreas Frangias is to be buried at Athens’s Third Cemetery today following his death at the age of 80 yesterday. Frangias landed his first job in journalism in 1945 after playing an active role in the national resistance movement against the occupying forces from 1941 to 1944. His four novels were «People and Houses» (1955), «Iron Gate» (1962), «The Famine» (1972) and «The Crowd» (1985). Lawyers’ strike New changes to the civil procedure code, intended to increase the speed and accuracy of court cases, were almost irrelevant yesterday as most Athens lawyers stayed away from court in protest at the reforms which they say should be introduced from September so the legal system can prepare to support them. Justice Minister Philippos Petsalnikos said the infrastructure is in place to support the new system of tape-recording court proceedings before they are transcribed. Debt reprieves The deadline for taxes due between December 28, 2001 and January 11, 2002 has been extended until January 14, the Finance Ministry announced yesterday. Meanwhile, water bills due by January 1, 2002 can be paid up until January 18, the Athens Water and Sewage Company (EYDAP) said yesterday. Composer convicted A court in Cyprus yesterday convicted the composer Doros Georgiades on five counts of sexually harassing women in his studio between 1988 and 1998. Georgiades was cleared of a sixth charge as the evidence against him was deemed unreliable. The court will sentence Georgiades on Wednesday. A court in Cyprus yesterday convicted the composer Doros Georgiades on five counts of sexually harassing women in his studio between 1988 and 1998. Georgiades was cleared of a sixth charge as the evidence against him was deemed unreliable. The court will sentence Georgiades on Wednesday.