NEWS

In Brief

SOCCER VIOLENCE

Nine AEK fans charged, based on video and photo evidence A prosecutor charged nine people in connection with soccer violence yesterday based on videos and photographs provided to authorities by the president of AEK soccer club, Demis Nikolaidis. The nine suspected hooligans have been charged with theft and causing unprovoked damage. Three of the men are suspected members of anarchist groups. Nikolaidis has incurred the wrath of AEK’s hardcore supporters by cooperating with authorities. Prosecutor Panayiotis Poulios also ordered judicial officials to conclude some 130 outstanding cases involving soccer hooliganism. ARSON ATTACKS Four banks targeted in different parts of Attica early yesterday Arson attacks on four banks in different parts of Attica in the early hours of yesterday morning, which caused widespread damage, are believed to have been conducted by anarchists gearing up for Friday’s rally on the anniversary of a 1973 student uprising at the Athens Polytechnic. No one was hurt in the attacks, three of which occurred within 10 minutes of each other just after 1 a.m. The first three attacks occurred in the western Athens district of Peristeri, the southern suburb of Palaio Faliron and the northeastern suburb of Holargos. And the fourth attack occurred at 3 a.m. in central Athens. TEMPE APPEAL Six linked to crash in court tomorrow The appeal of six people convicted over the deadly coach crash at the Vale of Tempe, central Greece, in April 2003 was yesterday postponed until tomorrow. An appeals court in Larissa decided to delay the trial as two defense lawyers were tied up with other cases. The relatives of the 21 schoolchildren killed in the accident were unhappy with the delay. The six defendants, including the driver of the truck which caused the crash, received stiff jail sentences in the first-degree trial last July. But relatives were angered by the court’s decision to suspend the terms of four of the men. Child abuse Children rights watchdog the Child’s Smile said yesterday that it had received reports of 873 youngsters being abused or neglected on its 1056 phone line since the start of the year. Most of the incidents related to boys (422). Up until the beginning of November, there were 265 reported counts of children being physically abused, 513 were subject to neglect, while 36 were said to be the victims of sexual assault. Granny murderer A 29-year-old man was arrested in Naoussa, northern Greece, yesterday after he allegedly beat his grandmother to death last month, police said. The suspect was found hiding in the home of one of his relatives in the village of Episkopi. According to authorities, the suspect beat his 79-year-old grandmother in front of other elderly neighbors on October 19. Elderly targets Police have arrested a 33-year-old man and are looking for another three suspects who allegedly targeted elderly victims in a series of burglaries, officers said yesterday. The Romanian national and his accomplices are alleged to have broken into at least four homes in Attica and tied up their victims before stealing valuables. Police are also investigating whether the gang operated in the Peloponnese and Aitoloacarnania. Moldy yogurt A mother in Larissa, central Greece, has complained to food authorities that a yogurt she bought for her child was moldy when she opened the pot, even though the product had not reached its expiry date, officials said yesterday. Authorities are looking into the complaint but did not give the details of the product or the manufacturer. The complaint comes a few days after FAGE’s Junior yogurt for children was recalled after a consumer found glass in one of the pots. Bank robbery Two armed men held up a branch of the National Bank in Thessaloniki yesterday and made away with 26,000 euros, police said. The two men entered the branch at about 11.30 a.m. and threatened staff and customers before taking the money and making away from the scene on motorbike. Cannabis find An underage Albanian national was arrested in Thessaloniki yesterday along with a second Albanian man, aged 26, after police found in their possession 5.5 kilos of cannabis.