In Brief


Korydallos lifer flees court as fellow Albanians throw chairs An Albanian national sentenced to life in jail for drug-dealing yesterday escaped from an Athens court room when his appeal hearing and that of two other Albanian Korydallos convicts was disrupted by a group of about 30 rioting Albanians who burst into the courtroom, threw chairs and tried to free the three. Handcuffed Fatmir Kalemi, 28, managed to slip away during the commotion. Police stopped the other two convicts. CYPRUS TALKS Clerides, Denktash under pressure for settlement from Security Council Cypriot President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash yesterday began a second phase of face-to-face talks aimed at reuniting Cyprus, under pressure from the UN Security Council for a June settlement. The two veteran leaders returned to the negotiating table at a disused airport in Nicosia’s UN buffer zone after a 10-day break. Earlier this week, the UN Security Council, after being briefed on the progress of negotiations by special envoy Alvaro de Soto, urged both leaders to continue «with a sense of urgency.» UNDIPLOMATIC Foreign minister criticized Greek diplomats yesterday criticized Foreign Minister George Papandreou for maintaining a host of personal advisers who «supplant the diplomatic corps.» The chairman of the diplomats’ union, Ambassador Michail Cambanis, told a press conference in Athens that «diplomats have been completely cast aside, and as a result our foreign policy changes along with the advisers each minister – even from the same government – brings along with him.» Immigrants Police in western Turkey arrested 56 illegal immigrants en route to Greece yesterday. The migrants – mostly Pakistanis – were caught near the coastal town of Doganbey. Meanwhile, on the northwestern Cycladic island of Andros on Thursday, port officials arrested a group of nine Iraqi immigrants, the Merchant Marine Ministry said yesterday. The migrants said they had left Athens for Italy by boat with two Greeks, who, instead of taking them to Italy, docked at the harbor village of Theotokos on Andros and a third Greek drove them to the island’s western coast. Simitis in Japan Prime Minister Costas Simitis today begins a six-day trip to Japan – the first official visit to the country by a Greek PM. Vartholomaios Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios is due to meet US President George Bush on Tuesday as part of an official visit to the USA by the spiritual leader of over 2 million Greek Orthodox Americans. EU summit The EU summit which will mark Greece’s adoption of the EU presidency in June 2003 will take place at the site of the Thessaloniki Trade Fair, following the signing of a memorandum yesterday between the fair management and the Foreign Ministry. Stone-thrower An unidentified assailant who throws stones at cars at the junction of Syngrou and Poseidonos avenues apparently struck from a new vantage point yesterday morning after two taxis were pelted with stones and wooden beams from the bridge above Lagoumitzi Road in the central Athens Koukaki district. Nobody was injured but there was damage to the taxis – the favored target of the assailant thought to be behind over a dozen such attacks. Korkolis cleared An Athens appeals court yesterday cleared composer and pop singer Stefanos Korkolis of four charges on drug-related offenses which were brought after allegations by Alpha Channel’s chief dirt-digger, Makis Triantafyllopoulos, three years ago that Korkolis supplied drugs and sexually harassed teenage girls. Korkolis was found guilty on one count of supplying drugs to a colleague five years ago, but was let off, as his case fell under the statute of limitations. Korkolis claimed his family, career and peace of mind had been destroyed by the allegations. Propane leak The 150 employees of a factory in Vima, Koropi, were evacuated from their workplace yesterday morning after a truck parked inside the factory was discovered to have leaked highly flammable propane gas. Fire engines, which were quick to arrive at the scene, managed to avert the risk of explosion by releasing smoke bombs and foam to dissipate the propane in the atmosphere.

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