NEWS

In Brief

CHILD RAPE

Prosecutor charges teenager with repeated abuse of boy, 7, in Crete A prosecutor in Iraklion, Crete, yesterday charged a 15-year-old boy with the repeated rape of a 7-year-old boy from his village of Kokkino Pirgo. The elder boy, who is alleged to have been raping the younger child regularly for two years, is to defend himself before an investigating magistrate today. The charges were lodged against him by the father of the younger boy. A medical examiner confirmed that the 7-year-old had been penetrated several times. QUARRY QUANDRY Ministry says new bill will not give unrestricted powers to mining firms The Development Ministry yesterday rejected an article in Sunday’s Kathimerini which revealed plans to introduce a new law giving mining companies greater powers. In its letter to Kathimerini, the ministry said that the article was unfair and that the new law did not serve the interests of mining firms in particular areas. But it did confirm that in certain cases, areas may be zoned off for mineral and marble mining companies if it is deemed to be of vital importance to the Greek economy. ATHENS RING Cars free to enter center this month All cars can circulate freely in central Athens until August 31 as license plate rotations are suspended for the summer, the traffic police said yesterday. Park shooting A 25-year-old foreign man was shot to death on Sunday night in a park in Kaisariani, eastern Athens, police said yesterday. According to witnesses, the victim was engaged in an argument with two men when one of them pulled out a gun and shot the victim at least four times. Bad food Prefectural inspectors in Piraeus yesterday confiscated more than 14 tons of Australian frozen prawns deemed unfit for human consumption. The prawns, which were seized from warehouses in Rendi, were subjected to laboratory tests which revealed excessively high levels of phosphates, officials said. Smuggled cigarettes The Finance Ministry’s Special Investigation Service (SIS) said yesterday it had uncovered in Thessaloniki on Friday an illegal shipment of 274,830 packets of cigarettes being transported in a truck. The tax and duties that corresponded to the tobacco products, illegally imported from the United Arab Emirates, reached 688,704 euros. Road tax The Economy and Finance Ministry said yesterday that the cost of road tax for cars and motorcycles will not increase next year. For example, owners of cars with 1.3-liter or smaller engines will have to pay 93 euros. Road tax for motorcycles with engines under 300cc will cost 15 euros. The stickers will be available from November 1 until the end of the year. Indecent assault A judge on Samos yesterday ordered a 60-year-old man to move from the eastern Aegean island after finding him guilty of indecently assaulting a 9-year-old girl. The unnamed man was also fined 10,000 euros and ordered to appear at a police station in the area that he moves to. Embezzlement trial The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that businessman and former president of PAOK soccer club Giorgos Batatoudis should stand trial for embezzlement and breach of faith. Batatoudis is accused of embezzling some 16 million euros between 2000 and 2002 from two companies where he was president. The money is alleged to have been diverted into the coffers of PAOK. Alfa recall The general secretary for consumer affairs, Thanassis Skordas, said yesterday that some 1,100 Alfa Romeo cars were being recalled for checks on their ABS units. The recall is for GT and 147 models manufactured between November 2003 and January 2006. Drivers should contact Fiat Auto Hellas for details. Hail damage Authorities in Trikala, central Greece, said yesterday that crops covering some 100 hectares had been destroyed by a sudden hailstorm on Sunday. The crops destroyed included cotton, watermelon and corn.