NEWS

In Brief

POLICE INVESTIGATION

Probe ordered into alleged abuse of Omonia drug addict by officer The alternate chief of Attica Police, Yiannikas Sakkas, ordered a sworn investigation into allegations that an officer serving at Omonia police station abused a drug addict. A television station aired footage which appeared to show the officer throwing a bucket of water at the suspect. The officer has been transferred to a different department until the investigation is completed. TROLLEY STOPPAGE Service to be suspended for five hours from 11 a.m. on Monday Trolley bus workers will stage a five-hour work stoppage on Monday, their union said yesterday. Trolleys will stop running at 11 a.m. so staff can attend a general meeting to discuss their collective contract. Taxi drivers will be on a 24-hour strike on Monday, starting from 5 a.m. Cabbies are protesting harsher measures in the new highway code proposed by the Transport Ministry. ANTI-SMOKING DAY Campaign in Syntagma from Monday The Hellenic Pneumological Society has organized a series of events in Syntagma Square, beginning on Monday, to mark World Anti-Smoking Day. Organizers said yesterday that volunteers would be handing out leaflets on Monday and Tuesday, highlighting the dangers of smoking. Doctors will be giving free medical tests at the society’s booth in Syntagma on Wednesday. Police cleared Three police officers charged with beating a suspect in custody five years ago were cleared by a Thessaloniki appeals court yesterday due to lack of evidence. The officers were accused of committing perjury and physically attacking a man who was in police custody on December 24, 2001. The victim was detained after being involved in scuffles that broke out between police and a gang of youths outside a cafeteria in Thessaloniki. Suspect surrenders A 28-year-old man surrendered to authorities in Crete yesterday after allegedly stabbing to death Roman Paraskevopolous, aged 23, in Hania on May 3. The suspect told police he had been hiding because he feared reprisal from the victim’s relatives. The suspect, of Georgian background, is expected to face charges of homicide along with carrying and using a weapon. PAOK defeat The Hellenic Soccer Federation (EPO) yesterday made the initial moves to ban PAOK from taking part in the championship next season, in a decision that could leave the Thessaloniki club unable to participate in the European competition for which it has qualified. Because PAOK owes money to its players and in unpaid taxes, an EPO committee ruled that PAOK did not comply with regulations and could play in the UEFA Cup and possibly the Greek league. PAOK will appeal the decision next Wednesday. Sea quake An earthquake measuring 5.2 on the Richter scale yesterday shook southern parts of the Ionian Sea, close to the island of Zakynthos. Residents on the nearby island did not feel the tremor. The quake hit the area at 2.14 a.m. and its epicenter was located about 320 kilometers southwest of Athens, according to the Athens Observatory’s Geodynamic Institute. Bank raid Two armed robbers held up a branch of the National Bank of Greece on Constantinopoleos Street in Thessaloniki at 12.42 p.m. yesterday and made off with 12,650 euros, police said. It was the second armed robbery in 48 hours by two suspects at a bank in the city. Nobody was hurt in the incident and officers were looking for the two gunmen last night. Charged up Greeks are participating strongly in a battery-recycling program that has been running for the last two years in seven cities, handing in more batteries than the average European, according to figures made public yesterday. Greeks who took part in the EU-funded DIASBAT program turned in a load of batteries weighing 238 grams on average, compared to the EU average of 235 grams. Almost of a fifth of the batteries recycled in Greece contained lead oxide, a toxic material.