In Brief


New group claims responsibility for yesterday’s bloodless attack Newly formed group «Anti State Justice» claimed responsibility yesterday for an explosion that went off earlier in the day at a branch of the National Bank in the beachside Athenian neighborhood of Varkiza. No one was hurt in the attack, which caused minor damage. It is the second time the group has claimed responsibility for an attack this year. MANHUNT PROBE Gov’t spokesman defends police Government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos defended police yesterday when he was asked whether they had competently handled a massive manhunt about a week ago to find a Russian fugitive. Roussopoulos blasted what he claimed were «efforts to canonize» the suspect by sections of the media and reminded journalists that Maxim Zhilim was responsible for three murders. Murder solved Police said yesterday that they had arrested a 29-year-old Albanian national in connection with the murder of a 38-year-old compatriot, Petrika Boka, in the neighborhood of Kallithea in Athens last February. Boka had allegedly sold drugs to the younger man, who also owed the victim money. When Boka tried to collect on the debt, the suspect, with the help of four compatriots, shot him dead. The other four suspects have since fled the country and officers said they would be issuing international warrants for their arrests. Safe skies Transport Minister Michalis Liapis and Defense Minister Spilios Spiliotopoulos yesterday signed a memorandum of cooperation which will allow the Civil Aviation Authority and the air force to share facilities. The ministers said that the agreement would ensure greater safety in Greek skies and greater coordination of air traffic in Greek air space. Bad blood Police in Ioannina said yesterday that a border guard had been using false medical certificates to obtain four-day leaves from work. Officers said the unnamed guard had used certificates apparently proving he had given blood so he could get time off work. It was not clear how many times the guard had tried the alleged trick. The case has been sent to prosecutors. New passports President Karolos Papoulias collects his new passport – which fulfills new EU security specifications – from Public Order Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis at Police Headquarters yesterday. The president’s was the first of a batch of 1,575 passports issued since the beginning of the year. The new passports include a digitized image of the holder and have a second photo only visible through a scanning device. Hooligans arrested Two men were arrested on Sunday night for preparing to throw rocks and pieces of marble from a pedestrian bridge at a bus transporting AEK soccer fans, police said yesterday. The men, aged 23 and 29, were about to launch the missiles at the bus, which was expected to pass under the bridge when police arrested them. Greek spaceman Greek-Russian astronaut Theodoros Yurtsihin told the Athens News Agency yesterday that he is willing to help train a Greek person to go into space. Yurtsihin, whose parents live near Thessaloniki, is preparing for his 13th trip into space in March, ANA reported. Pothole initiative A joint initiative made public yesterday by the Ombudsman and the Prefectural Council of Eastern Attica will mean motorists whose cars are damaged by potholes on roads in the prefecture will have their cases handled by a pane´l of prefectural officials to spare them suing authorities for compensation.

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