NEWS

In Brief

CYPRUS RESHUFFLE

Veteran foreign minister and five other Cabinet members replaced Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos yesterday replaced veteran Foreign Minister George Iakovou with a close aide in a wide-ranging reshuffle that saw six Cabinet members replaced. Iakovou, who has been foreign minister for 13 years, was replaced by Commerce Minister George Lillikas. Papadopoulos also appointed Fivos Klokaris, former deputy commander of the National Guard, as defense minister, replacing Kyriakos Mavronikolas. The new ministers are to be sworn in on June 13. ALEX CASE Police prepare brief on five ‘attackers’ as search for body continues in Veria Police in Veria said yesterday that they had prepared a legal brief on the alleged murder of 11-year-old Alex Meshivili by five schoolboys and will be forwarding it to a prosecutor, who will decide whether to press charges. Police said that a further search in the city center to find the boy’s body had not yielded any results. Meanwhile, officers called more relatives of the five schoolboys in for questioning. PALAIOCOSTAS HUNT Police set up roadblocks for robbers Tens of roadblocks were set up yesterday in the areas of Fthiotida and Fokida in central Greece as police intensified their hunt for wanted bank robber Nikos Palaiocostas and his brother Vassilis, who escaped from Korydallos Prison in a helicopter on Sunday. Meanwhile, Justice Minister Anastassis Papaligouras said that authorities would begin removing some 400 prisoners from the overcrowded Korydallos jail by the end of the month to a new prison in Trikala, central Greece. He said the transfers would continue to other new jails next year. Foul play Three fans were arrested at the final of the basketball game between Panathinaikos and Olympiakos late on Wednesday in Athens, police said yesterday. Two of the men, aged 23 and 28, were arrested for having in their possession firecrackers, small amounts of dynamite and a flare. The third person, aged 30, to be arrested was accused of throwing a coin or cigarette lighter that struck an Olympiakos player. Another Olympiakos player and a team official were struck by pellets fired from an air gun. Illegal gambling Police broke up an illegal gambling ring yesterday operating out of an OPAP betting agency in Peristeri, western Athens. The gambling operation accepted bets in cooperation with Internet sites and foreign bookmakers. Police confiscated from the premises 14,575 euros in cash and lists containing customers’ names. Officer stabbed Authorities said yesterday that a 17-year-old man in Peristeri stabbed an off-duty police officer on Tuesday after the law enforcement officer tried to intervene in a family dispute that turned violent. The teenager had been threatening to stab his brother when the police officer tried to disarm him. The youth then stabbed the policeman in the side and ran off. The victim was hospitalized but was not in serious condition. Mild quake An earthquake measuring 4.6 Richter struck the island of Evia at 5.39 p.m. yesterday. The quake, whose epicenter was 75 kilometers northeast of Athens, was also felt in Attica. There were no reports of injuries or damage. Teenage mugging Two teenagers were charged yesterday after allegedly threatening two other schoolboys with a small sword, police in Athens said. The suspects, both aged 16, allegedly stole a skateboard from two teenagers in Eleftherios Venizelos Park in central Athens and then threatened them with a 70-centimeter sword, demanding a mobile phone for the return of the skateboard. Dog burnt A Cypriot military court has sentenced three army conscripts to three months in jail for burning a dog to death for fun outside their outpost on the Mediterranean island, a military spokesman said yesterday. The incident occurred at a Greek-Cypriot army outpost on eastern Cyprus about a year ago, but became public in March after video footage captured by the soldiers on a cell phone was aired on television. (AP)