NEWS

In Brief

ALEX PROBE

Prosecutor starts scanning dozens of depositions in police file Police in Veria yesterday provided a local prosecutor with the complete file on the ongoing investigation into the alleged murder of 11-year-old Alex Meshivili. The file is said to contain 200 depositions, including those of the five boys who allegedly admitted to killing Alex, before retracting their claims, as well as the boys’ relatives. PARLIAMENT PROTEST PASOK deputies walk out of house after PM fails to appear for questions PASOK deputies Apostolos Kaklamanis and Miltiadis Papaioannou walked out of Parliament yesterday after the prime minister failed to appear in the house to answer questions they had submitted to him. Kaklamanis, a former parliamentary speaker, accused Costas Karamanlis of dodging his responsibilities. Justice Minister Anastassis Papaligouras said that there were other ministers and deputy ministers in Parliament to answer the questions, a common and accepted practice which has been used hundreds of times before, he said. LOAN SHARKS Ministry breaks up Zakynthos gang The Finance Ministry’s Special Investigation Service (SIS) said yesterday that it has broken up a loan shark gang that operated from the Ionian island of Zakynthos and that also allegedly dealt in stolen antiquities. SIS said that it found checks worth 6 million euros after inspecting the home of a local businessman and a number of other blank checks hidden in potted plants. Authorities also found a Byzantine icon dating back to the 15th century which experts described as priceless. Violence clampdown Soccer hooligans will no longer be able to buy out their jail sentences if a bill submitted to Parliament yesterday is passed into law. People found guilty of having engaged in violence at a sporting event will also have to serve at least the minimum length of their jail term as judges will not be allowed to issue suspended sentences under the bill, the Justice Ministry said. US slammed Synaspismos Left Coalition yesterday criticized the decision of US authorities not to allow a member of its secretariat to enter the USA. Yiannis Milios, also a professor at the National Technical University of Athens, was questioned for five hours at JFK Airport in New York before being sent home, Synaspismos said. Milios had been invited to attend an annual university conference in New York, the party added. The reason behind Milios’s entry to the USA being barred was not immediately clear. Bourboulia husband The husband of former magistrate Constantina Bourboulia, who is awaiting trial on trial-fixing charges, was released on 60,000 euros bail yesterday and a magistrate ordered him to appear at his local police station once a month. Thomas Amorgianos has been accused of money laundering and other illegal activity after large deposits were found in joint bank accounts he shared with Bourboulia. She has yet to stand trial in Greece due to health problems. Construction thefts Police arrested three men in Menidi, western Athens, yesterday after they allegedly stole aluminum sheeting and copper pipes worth several thousand euros from apartment buildings being built. The three men, aged 25, would then sell the stolen items for minimal amounts, police added. Judge resigns The head of the Judges and Prosecutors’ Union, Panayiotis Athanassopoulos, handed in his resignation yesterday. It was a surprise move by the appeals court judge who has an excellent reputation within his profession, sources said. Athanassopoulos did not say why he had stepped down.