NEWS

Farmer charged with murder

A prosecutor in the city of Agrinion, central Greece, yesterday charged 37-year-old livestock farmer Dionysis Foukas with the murder of five hunters and accused his 73-year-old father Lysimachos of being an accessory to the killings. The two men were taken to the prosecutor yesterday amid tight security as police fear possible reprisals from the families of the five men who were shot dead in a field in the area of Kalyvia, west of Agrinion, on Saturday. Based on the statements given to the police by the two men, during which each man said he was responsible for shooting the hunters, the prosecutor decided that the 73-year-old had not been actively involved in the alleged murders but was taking the blame to protect his son. The two suspects were given until today to testify and have been remanded in custody at police headquarters in Agrinion. The coroner from Patras, Angeliki Tziola, who examined the bodies of the five hunters, was called in yesterday to look at a wound on the chest of Dionysis Foukas. The farmer told police that one of the hunters shot at him after Foukas had already shot three of his victims. Foukas said the shotgun pellet grazed the right side of his chest. Tziola was asked to confirm that the injury was consistent with the younger Foukas’s claims. The main suspect confessed to police that he shot the five men after they argued with his father, who was upset that the hunters were trespassing on his land and scaring his sheep. Police sources told Kathimerini yesterday that officers agreed with the prosecutor that there was no need to reconstruct the incident. Sources said that the police feared that such a move would generate unwelcome media interest and may cause unnecessary grief to the local community. Officers said that they would continue to discreetly monitor the family of the two suspects but there has not been any indication that the victims’ relatives were intent on exacting revenge for the alleged crime.