NEWS

In Brief

PEDOPHILE CASE

Father charged with keeping quiet about man who abused his son A father alleged to have demanded 50,000 euros from a 47-year-old man charged with raping his son, in order to keep quiet about the alleged abuse, was yesterday charged with blackmail and complicity to harbor a criminal. The unnamed man, who is an Albanian migrant, is to defend himself before an investigating magistrate in the northern Greek town of Edessa next Monday. Meanwhile, the 47-year-old gas station owner is due to give additional testimony following new rape charges lodged by two boys, aged 11 and 16. The unnamed businessman has also been charged with the alleged sexual abuse of three boys aged between 9 and 13. MITSOTAKIS RECOVERING Hospital says former PM is doing well after bypass heart surgery Former Prime Minister Constantine Mitsotakis was recovering well from Tuesday’s double bypass operation, doctors at the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center said in Athens yesterday. Mitsotakis’s health was improving at a satisfactory rate and he was expected to remain in the hospital until at least today. Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis visited Mitsotakis yesterday afternoon. CORRUPT MEDIC? Doctor arrested on bribery charge A 53-year-old doctor has been arrested in Patras after accepting a bribe of 2,000 euros to judge in favor of a 55-year-old man receiving a disability pension because of a heart problem, police said yesterday. The unnamed doctor was arrested after accepting the marked bills on Tuesday night. He was a member of a Social Security Fund (IKA) health panel that was set to decide upon the validity of several applications for disability pensions. The 55-year-old man tipped off police that the doctor had allegedly demanded a bribe to approve his application. Minister ill Cyprus’s Defense Minister Nikos Symeonides is seriously ill and being treated in an intensive-care unit at a hospital in Nicosia, doctors said yesterday. Symeonides, who is 66, had undergone five days of treatment after experiencing breathing problems and was expected to leave the hospital yesterday. But doctors said that his condition deteriorated and he is showing signs of suffering from pneumonia. Symeonides took up the post of defense minister last October. N17 appeal A council of appeals court judges decided yesterday that two members of the November 17 terrorist group, Savvas Xeros and Dimitris Koufodinas, should not face charges in connection with an explosion in January 2001 at the entrance to an apartment block where former defense minister Vassilis Michaloliakos lived. Michaloliakos and another man were slightly injured in the blast and a 58-year-old woman died from a heart attack. The judges decided that witness statements about the incident were not reliable. In a few days, N17 members are due to begin testifying in their appeal, which is being held in a specially constructed courtroom at Korydallos Prison. Drug dealers Police said yesterday that they arrested a 14-year-old boy in central Athens on Tuesday night after finding more than 50 grams of cannabis in his possession. The teenager, a Bangladeshi national, had divided the drug into 16 bundles. Meanwhile, police in Thessaloniki arrested a 32-year-old man after catching him with almost 23 kilos of hashish at his apartment. Officers did not name the suspect but said he is from Kazakhstan. Phone safety The Hellenic Telecommunications and Post Commission (EETT) said yesterday it will launch an information campaign to inform consumers about mobile phones and possible dangers involved. A pamphlet will be distributed by EETT, the telecoms watchdog, that will offer advice on safety issues for adults and children. US Embassy The US Embassy in Athens and the consular services in Thessaloniki will be closed on Monday in observance of Martin Luther King’s birthday, a US national holiday.