NEWS

In Brief

MURDER DENIAL

Death of IKA boss was ‘terrible accident,’ ministry worker says The 59-year-old Finance Ministry employee accused of murdering the late IKA head Yiannis Vartholomaios was remanded in custody yesterday after telling a magistrate that the civil servant’s death was a «terrible accident.» In a written statement, Dimitris Vrakatselis said that he was not guilty of a crime of passion or honor but insisted that his wife had been having an affair with Vartholomaios. He claimed that he lost his cool after the IKA chairman pushed him. Vrakatselis asked coroners to confirm whether Vartholomaios died from blows to the head or from a heart attack. SICK STUDENTS Seven in hospital due to foam spray Seven high school students were hospitalized in Thessaloniki yesterday suffering from breathing problems, dizziness and headaches after using a toy foam spray at a school Carnival party. Doctors said that two students were released after receiving first-aid treatment, while the others were kept at the hospital for precautionary reasons. Medical experts said they could not determine the cause of the problem since the foam spray bottle did not list a description of its contents. Robber caught A 42-year-old man, believed to be behind a string of robberies and muggings of private security firm employees in Attica, has been arrested, police said yesterday. Police had been seeking the man, believed to be a member of Athens’s criminal underworld, since last November when a 27-year-old thought to be his accomplice was arrested. Officers are seeking another two suspected members of the ring which is believed to have been behind raids on two printing offices in Rendi last February and the robbery of a security firm worker in January last year. Toy recall Toymaker Fisher-Price is recalling 500,000 «Laugh and Learn» rabbit toys worldwide after finding that the nose on the product can detach and pose a serious choking risk for small children, the General Secretariat for Consumers said yesterday. Some 4,600 of the toy rabbits have been sold in Greece since last September. Suspect arrested Police in Athens yesterday arrested a 42-year-old man believed to have taken part in the armed robbery of a Eurobank branch on the Ionian island of Zakynthos in July last year. The suspect was allegedly part of a four-member gang that stole 960,000 euros from the bank. Two of the other suspected gang members were arrested in October, while a fourth person has yet to be caught. The man arrested yesterday has yet to serve a 12-year sentence for his involvement in the armed holdup of armored vans.