NEWS

In Brief

N17 APPEAL

Two convicted members get their jail sentences trimmed An Athens appeals court yesterday reduced the sentences of two members of the terrorist group November 17, originally handed down in 2003. A panel of five judges trimmed Sotiris Kondilis’s sentence from 25 to 11 years. They also reduced the prison term for Thomas Serifis from 17 years to eight. As a result, both men will be eligible for parole this year. Last week, the court upheld life sentences for six of the group’s 13 convicted members. The group is held responsible for 23 killings between 1973 and 2002. KIFISSOS CLEANUP Kathimerini campaign results in removal of 1,000 tons of rubble, trash A weeklong campaign to clean up the polluted Kifissos River, combining the efforts of dozens of citizens, politicians and performers, resulted in around 1,000 tons of rubble and trash being hauled out of various parts of the river. The first phase of the cleanup campaign, organized by Kathimerini and Skai radio and television, culminated on Sunday with a concert in Faliron by popular rocker Vassilis Papaconstantinou. Alternate government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros praised the move. «Every initiative that contributes to the improvement of the environment is praiseworthy because it also helps to sensitize the public,» he said. NEWSPAPER ATTACK Group targets Apogevmatini offices A group of about 20 people wearing hoods and motorcycle helmets attacked the offices of the Apogevmatini newspaper in central Athens yesterday evening. Police said the assailants threw rocks at windows and then hurled red paint inside the building. They also damaged 14 parked cars. The building was being guarded by a female police officer who was not able to make any arrests. Nobody was injured in the attack. Extortion racket Five people have been arrested on suspicion that they were extorting money from shop owners in Athens, police said yesterday. The gang, led by a 45-year-old man, was caught after 21 owners of bars, cafes and nightclubs gave evidence to authorities. Police then mounted a surveillance operation and allegedly recorded the five suspects collecting protection money from their victims. Three of the suspects denied being involved in the extortion racket. They have been charged but were released from custody. Police beat Police Chief Anastassios Dimoschakis said yesterday that 396 officers will be pulled from office jobs and assigned to police stations in the Attica region in a bid to increase street supervision by law enforcement. Dimoschakis decided on the move following a number of attacks recently made against police stations by anarchists and the terrorist group Revolutionary Struggle. Officer probed A police warrant officer, serving on the force’s squad for western Attica, yesterday faced a prosecutor charged with the attempted rape of a 35-year-old woman. The unnamed officer is accused of using an illegally procured police jeep to drive the woman to a remote area where he allegedly tried to rape her. According to the woman, the officer had offered to drive her home after meeting her in a nightclub. The woman called for help, attracting the attention of passers-by who called the police. The officer faces an internal investigation. Wanted robbers Police said yesterday they are searching for two Albanian nationals in connection to the robbery of the Nikas meat factory at the start of April. The wanted men are believed to have been responsible for the heist involving an amount close to 100,000 euros from the plant in Moschato, southern Athens. Police said they are also wanted in connection to a series of armed robberies in the Viotia district, central Greece.