NEWS

In Brief

FISHERMEN HURT

Boat collides with navy vessel conducting night patrol off Perama Two men were slightly injured yesterday after their fishing boat collided with a navy vessel conducting a night patrol off Perama, southwest Athens. The two fishermen were taken to the hospital for medical checks and were released shortly afterward, according to authorities. An investigation has been launched into the causes of the accident. SERIAL KILLER Thessaloniki appeals court upholds multiple life sentences for murderer A Thessaloniki appeals court yesterday upheld multiple life sentences imposed on a 35-year-old farmer for a series of murders carried out between 1995 and 2004. The court upheld an earlier verdict convicting Ioannis Baltas to four life sentences plus 19 years for the murder of his girlfriend’s brother in 2004 and the murder of three Albanians nine years before. Baltas’s friend Dimitris Savvelidis, also implicated in the Albanian killings, had his two life sentences and nine years upheld. And Baltas’s brother Stavros had a 20-year prison sentence upheld. HOOLIGAN BRAWL Suspect on conditional release A leading official of the Olympiakos «Gate 7» supporters’ club, implicated in the murder of a Panathinaikos supporters’ club manager in March, was yesterday granted conditional release after defending himself before an investigating magistrate. The official, who was not named, has been banned from leaving the country and must visit his local police station twice a month. Robbers convicted A Thessaloniki court yesterday imposed 10-year jail sentences on two Romanian immigrants, aged 25 and 27, found guilty of a series of burglaries in Serres. The men, who crossed into Greece illegally in April last year, raided fridges for food but also stole clothes, shoes and small quantities of cash, the court heard. The burglaries are believed to have been committed between mid-April and the beginning of this month. The court justified the severity of its sentence by noting that the men had made burglary into a profession. Smuggler detained Port Authority officials on Samos yesterday detained a Turkish national suspected of human smuggling after detaining 15 Afghan immigrants on the island, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. The unnamed Turk was sent to a prosecutor while the illegal immigrants were taken to the island’s migrant reception center. Caught in the act A policeman yesterday arrested an Armenian national he caught breaking into his home in Thessaloniki, authorities said. The officer found the suspect, aged 32, and his accomplice stealing items from his apartment when he returned home from work. The officer also tried to arrest the second man but he managed to escape, authorities added. Fund robbery Some 21,000 euros were stolen from the social security fund TAP-OTE in Thessaloniki overnight on Monday, police said yesterday. The pension fund’s employees reported the missing cash after yesterday noticing that the office safe had been broken into. Student grant The Education Ministry announced yesterday that it will offer scholarships of 1,105 euros to 1,319 female students who choose to study a high-demand profession dominated by males. The financial boost will be offered to female students attending technical secondary schools. The grant will be paid in a one-off payment and will help to cover school fees or other education expenses. Rice recall Supermarket chain AB Vassilopoulos announced yesterday that it was pulling off its shelves rice imported from Italy found to have been genetically modified. The «Risotto Tex-Mex AB» rice, with a November 13, 2007, expiry date, failed to meet EU and local food standards, the company added.