NEWS

Setback in murder probe

The investigation to find the alleged killers of schoolboy Alex Meshivili in Veria suffered a blow yesterday when DNA tests on blood found at the spot where he is thought to have been killed did not match samples of blood taken from the 11-year-old’s mother. Senior police sources told Kathimerini that the discovery was a setback and that the investigation would have to start over with a new round of questioning. Spots of blood had been found on three pieces of material which were discovered at the building site where five schoolboys allegedly said that they had buried Alex’s body. Police brought the grandfather of two of the alleged attackers in for questioning last night. It was the third time that the man was grilled about the incident as officers try to establish whether an adult may have helped the children dispose of Alex’s body. Officers also questioned a woman who claims to have seen the five schoolboys pushing a shopping cart with a blanket over it on the night that Alex disappeared in February. Authorities are considering whether they will have to dig into the concrete foundations of a new building that is being constructed on the site where the five boys allegedly admitted to burying Alex. Three of the boys have since changed their testimony. Police are also analyzing the recorded messages being left with the Child’s Smile charity, which has received 137 calls since Saturday morning in connection with the case. Many calls have simply been messages of support for Alex’s family. Since Saturday, the Child’s Smile has also been informed of 10 alleged cases of bullying at schools in Greece, the head of its 1056 helpline, Maria Yiannouli, told Kathimerini. Meanwhile, there was disagreement within the Veria municipal council yesterday when Mayor Christos Skoubopoulos refused to allow the matter of the schoolboy’s death to be discussed at a council meeting. Some council members also suggested that a silent protest be organized in the city as a statement against Alex’s alleged killing. But Skoubopoulos turned down the idea, saying that it was a matter for the police and judiciary to investigate.