Lawyers to strike for three days over judges’ roles and court conditions Lawyers in Athens are to stage a three-day strike from Monday after the head of the Athens Bar Association (ABA), Dimitris Paxinos, cast doubt yesterday on the trustworthiness of some judges. Paxinos suggested that certain judges cultivate inappropriate political ties. He also said that the practice of giving retired judges highly paid jobs in the civil service once they retire causes the independence of their rulings to be called into question. Paxinos also criticized the conditions in Athens courtrooms. Court workers are striking for a second day today and will stage three-hour stoppages for the rest of the month as part of their demands for new hirings and better conditions. ARCHBISHOP OPERATION Christodoulos to undergo ‘routine’ surgery on intestine today The director of the Aretaion Hospital in Athens, Christodoulos Stefanidis, said yesterday that Archbishop Christodoulos will undergo an operation at 7 a.m. today due to a narrowing of the intestinal tract. Christodoulos was admitted to the hospital on Saturday after complaining of symptoms of gastroenteritis. Stefanidis said that the archbishop will undergo a routine procedure that should last about three hours. The hospital director said that Christodoulos, who was visited by political and religious figures, was in good spirits. PANGRATI MURDER Afghan man killed in Athens home Police said yesterday that the murder of an Afghan national in Pangrati, central Athens, was a result of personal differences. The 22-year-old man was found stabbed to death yesterday around midday in a ground-floor apartment. The man’s body, which bore eight stab wounds, had been placed in the apartment’s bathtub fully clothed. Police place the time of murder at around midnight on Monday. Shipwreck probe A prosecutor on the island of Naxos yesterday ordered a preliminary investigation into why fuel from the sunken Sea Diamond cruise ship has yet to be pumped from its tanks. The vessel sank off Santorini in April and – despite alleged assurances by Louis Hellenic Cruises, which owns the ship, that the diesel would be removed – the fuel is still in the ship’s tanks. Locals fear that the fuel will leak out and pollute the sea around the island. Washed-up weed Coast guard officials said yesterday a parcel washed up on the shores of Kissamos, Crete, that contained 34 kilos of cannabis. The cannabis had been damaged by the seawater as officials believe it had been at sea for a long time. Other parcels containing cannabis have also been found recently on other beaches in Greece. Separately, police in Thessaloniki arrested two foreign nationals, aged 36 and 32, found to be in possession of a kilo of heroin, a kilo of cannabis and a loaded handgun. Tempe charges Two executives of the Akritas wood-processing company are to stand trial in connection with an accident in April 2003 that led to the death of 21 teenagers when a load of plywood came loose from a truck and sliced into a coach, court sources said yesterday. The president of the Akritas board, Athanassios Sarantis, and the firm’s managing director, Loukia Saranti, have been accused of manslaughter, causing physical harm and disrupting road safety. They are being prosecuted following a lawsuit filed in 2005 filed by some of the victims’ parents. The two executives did not stand trial in 2005 when six people were given a total of 80 years in jail, although some of those sentences were suspended. Shipyard accident Two workers at the shipyards at Perama, southwestern Athens, were seriously injured yesterday when parts of a crane collapsed onto the parked car in which they were sitting. The crane operator and manager in charge of safety at the shipyard were taken in for questioning by authorities. E-mail threats Police have identified a 36-year-old man as being responsible for a number of abusive and threatening e-mails sent to a senior Hellenic Olympic Committee official in February. After being questioned by police, the suspect confessed to sending the messages from different computers in an attempt to avoid detection.