NEWS

In Brief

CORRUPTION TRIAL

Court postpones hearing of ex-judge and 10 lawyers until next month The keenly awaited trial of former judge Leonidas Stathis and 10 lawyers who are alleged to have bribed him to rule in their favor will begin on June 5, a criminal appeals court in Athens decided yesterday. The trial – which is the first key case in a series linked to an alleged trial-fixing ring – was due to begin yesterday but Stathis claimed his lawyer could not attend. Stathis allegedly accepted bribes totaling 54 million drachmas (158,500 euros) from 10 lawyers so that his rulings would favor their clients. He is also facing charges of money laundering. ATHENS RIOT Youths arrested at march to face court today; another suspect sought The 17 people arrested during disturbances at the anti-war march in Athens on Saturday are due to face a magistrate today. Several banks and stores, as well as some public property, were damaged by rioters. Meanwhile, police are studying the footage from a police helicopter which was monitoring the march from above. They are hoping to track down a suspect who appeared to be moving through the crowd distributing Molotov cocktails. Police sources said that officers believe they have established the identity of the suspect and are trying to discover his whereabouts. HIV SCARE Pensioners do not have virus Fears that two pensioners aged 75 and 76 had contracted HIV, the virus that can lead to AIDS, from a blood transfusion at the Elpis Hospital in central Athens were quashed yesterday. Authorities said that tests on the infected donor revealed that he had contracted HIV after he gave blood at the hospital. Hooligan warning Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos threatened to cut state aid to local soccer clubs if they did not help curb hooliganism after 24 people were injured in clashes between rival fans. Authorities said that 17 police officers and seven soccer fans were injured when supporters of AEL fought with fans of title-winning Apollon Limassol on Sunday night. «Clubs which do not adhere to police requests to help identify those captured on photograph or film causing trouble are not to expect financial aid from the state,» Papadopoulos said. Arson spree A series of arson attacks took place in Athens during the early hours of yesterday morning, resulting in the destruction of several vehicles and damage to a bank, police said. Unidentified attackers threw two Molotov cocktails at a car in the Gyzi neighborhood at 1.50 a.m. The car and a motorcycle parked next to it were destroyed. Another motorcycle was set on fire on Solonos Street in central Athens at 2.45 a.m. An hour later, arsonists destroyed a traffic camera in Glyfada, southern Athens. At 6.30 a.m., a Molotov cocktail was thrown at a branch of ATEbank in Zografou, causing minor damage. Bus fire An Olympic Airlines bus transporting 10 employees caught fire early yesterday but no one was hurt in the incident, firefighters said. The bus, traveling on the Vari-Koropiou Avenue, caught fire while headed to Athens International Airport due to an engine fault, firefighters said. Road victims The number of people killed in road accidents in the first four months of the year reached 399, which is 38 fewer than in the same period a year earlier, according to data released by the Public Order Ministry yesterday. The number of fatal car collisions fell to 361 from 394 for the same period, the ministry added. In a bid to try and crack down on traffic violators, police issued nearly 40,000 fines to passengers not wearing seat belts and fined 30,113 motorcycle riders caught not wearing a helmet. Moderate earthquake An earthquake measuring 4.7 on the Richter scale hit the western island of Zakynthos yesterday. No injuries or damage were immediately reported. The Athens Geodynamic Institute said that the epicenter of the earthquake, which struck at 10.34 a.m., was located in an undersea area south of the island. About a dozen earthquakes have hit the area in the last month.