NEWS

In Brief

WIFE KILLER

Retired policeman gets life sentence for murdering spouse A 58-year-old retired police officer was yesterday sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of the murder of his 45-year-old wife in Veria, northern Greece, in February 2006. The 58-year-old shot at his wife twice, in the middle of the street outside the couple’s home, following an argument. According to the couple’s children and neighbors, the couple argued frequently, chiefly due to the husband’s jealous nature. Defending himself in court, the unnamed former officer said he shot his wife because she had «tortured (him) with her behavior.» PROSTITUTION RING Three arrests over alleged racket operating in Serres Police yesterday arrested in Serres, northern Greece, three men accused of running a prostitution racket which smuggled women into Greece from Bulgaria. The unidentified men, all under the age of 30, are believed to have been operating the racket for a number of months. The women are thought to have been brought into Greece for an appointment and then sent immediately back to Bulgaria. A Bulgarian woman, aged 23, was also detained with the suspects and told police that she had been one of their victims and that she feared for her life. ADDICT ASSISTANCE Help offered to jailed drug users Justice Minister Anastassis Papaligouras yesterday heralded a series of measures aimed at helping drug addicts who are in jail to overcome their dependence and be integrated back into society. Some 40 percent of jail inmates in Greece are believed to be drug addicts. The ministry’s program aims to reduce the use of drugs in jail and to increase the number of counseling units operating in Greek jails. Greece is the only country that offers such a service to jail inmates, Papaligouras said. Around 800 convicts are to join counseling programs next year, in addition to around 1,000 currently receiving help. Smugglers caught Coast guard officers arrested two suspected human traffickers from Turkey off the coast of Samos early yesterday, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. Officers had earlier found 27 Afghan migrants on the eastern Aegean island. They said they sailed over from Turkey in two boats. Authorities seized both vessels, a speedboat and a rubber dinghy. Meanwhile, the ministry said that 41 illegal immigrants were detained on the island of Chios. Precinct video A police sergeant accused of beating and humiliating two detainees at the Omonia police precinct in central Athens is due to face a prosecutor today. The alleged abuse took place last year but came to light when a mobile phone video was aired on TV last month. The unnamed sergeant denies the charges and has asked for the video to be analyzed by police specialists to determine its authenticity. Bomb hoax A telephone call warning of a bomb on a passenger ferry en route to Alexandroupolis from Samothrace turned out to be a hoax after police failed to find any explosive device aboard the vessel. On being informed of the bomb threat, the captain of the Nona Mary, which was carrying 365 passengers, decided to continue its scheduled route toward Alexandroupolis instead of returning to Samothrace, which it had left 15 minutes earlier. At Alexandroupolis, sniffer dogs were brought onto the ship to investigate but nothing was found. Safer roads Police reported a 33 percent annual drop in fatal car accidents in Thessalonki last month. In June 2006, nine people lost their lives in car accidents in the northern city while last month the number fell to six. Police said the drop is due to stricter traffic supervision recently introduced. Separately, residents from the area of Lagada in Thessaloniki cut off traffic on one of the area’s roads to protest against the poorly built highway they argue has resulted in fatal car accidents. Body found The body of a 65-year-old man was found on the Knakia riverbed near Sparta in the Peloponnese yesterday. The body did not fit any descriptions given to authorities on missing persons. The body has been taken to a nearby hospital for an autopsy. Police have asked the public to come forward with any possible information they may have on the body.