NEWS

In Brief

BOURBOULIA HEARING

Prosecutor says ex-judge should be sent back to Greece from France A French prosecutor yesterday recommended that former judge Constantina Bourboulia be extradited to Greece, where she has been charged in connection with an alleged trial-fixing ring. The court in Paris is due to decide next Wednesday whether to grant Greece’s extradition request. Bourboulia claimed that she would not receive a fair trial in Greece and that she was a victim of political interests but the prosecution dismissed this argument and said there was «very serious» evidence against the ex-judge. MIGRANTS FREED Police find 4 men being held in Athens for ransom for 3 days without food Police said yesterday that they had freed four illegal immigrants who were being held for ransom in a house in Haidari, western Athens. Officers said the migrants, whose nationality was not made public, were brought to Greece by a human-trafficking ring. They were first held in a house in Thessaloniki before being brought to the property in Haidari where they were kept locked up and denied food for some three days so their relatives would be forced to pay 3,000 euros for the release of each migrant. ATHENS MAYOR Councilors to elect a stand-in today The Athens municipal council will meet shortly before 1 p.m. today to elect a new mayor to replace Dora Bakoyannis, who was made foreign minister last week. The new mayor will be chosen by the 23 councilors after a maximum of three rounds of voting. He or she will take over until the end of the year, when the candidate elected in the October local and mayoral elections will take over. Papantoniou wins Former PASOK defense minister Yiannos Papantoniou said yesterday that he had won his libel case against French newspaper Liberation. The daily had printed allegations by Michel Josserand, a former chief executive of one of the subsidiaries of French defense electronics group Thales SA, who claimed that the company had paid out huge amounts in bribes to win contracts, including in Greece, at a time when Papantoniou was defense minister. Papantoniou was awarded 20,000 euros in damages and 50,000 euros to cover legal costs. Residence deadline Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos said yesterday that an extension might be given to migrants who fail to meet the deadline to submit their applications for residence permits. Speaking to Athens International Radio, Pavlopoulos said that some 100,000 applications had been received so far and that «if needed» the deadline of February 28 might be extended. Eurovision tickets State broadcaster ERT said yesterday that tickets for this year’s Eurovision song contest, which will be held in Athens in May, will go on sale from Monday. People interested in attending the rehearsals, semifinals or final will be able to book tickets on www.ert.gr, www.eurovision.tv or through certain outlets of the ACS courier company and Eleftheroudakis book stores. Tickets will cost between 10 and 250 euros. The event will be held at the indoor arena at the Olympic Stadium complex, which has 14,000 seats. Road rage A section of the Athens-Thessaloniki national road was blocked off for two hours yesterday by residents of the village of Platamonas, northeast of Larissa. They were protesting the Interior Ministry’s decision not to give Platamonas administrative independence. Earlier this week, the ministry gave autonomy to three communities on Crete and one near Larissa. Return post Police in Thessaloniki said yesterday that they believe the same two men who had held up a post office in the northern city last week raided the building again yesterday. Officers said the two suspects were wearing crash helmets during the robberies. The men made off with some 6,000 euros during the first raid on the post office on Constantinopoleos Street last Friday. It was not immediately known how much the robbers made off with yesterday. Moderate quake An earthquake measuring 4.4 on the Richter scale hit an undersea area close to the Dodecanese islands of Karpathos and Kasos yesterday but there were no reports of injuries or damage. The quake struck at 7.37 a.m.