NEWS

In Brief

DIMITRAKIS TRIAL

Witnesses fail to identify suspect, defense case starts today The trial of alleged bank robber Yiannis Dimitrakis is set to continue today with witnesses being called by his defense team. Dimitrakis is accused of being one of the «Robbers in Black» involved in a bloody raid on a bank in central Athens last year. None of the witnesses called by the prosecution yesterday could put Dimitrakis at the scene of the crime or identify any of the other robbers. One witness claimed to be «84 percent sure» that he saw Dimitrakis during the robbery. The witness, a bank employee, said that the accused was wearing a hood but that he studied his eyes and body shape. PARIS RENDEZVOUS PM is due to meet Sarkozy in France at the end of the month Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis is expected to meet French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris at the end of the month, Foreign Ministry sources said yesterday. The meeting will come a few days after a visit to Athens by German Chancellor Angela Merkel for talks. Merkel is expected in Athens on July 20. POWER UP Protest at electricity plant ends Residents of villages near the lignite-fired Aghios Dimitrios power plant in northern Greece called off their occupation of the facility yesterday. The protesters began their sit-in on Saturday, demanding more jobs for unemployed local people. The Public Power Corporation warned that if the protest continued, it would lead to blackouts. Residents in the northern prefecture of Kozani had also blocked conveyor belts carrying coal to the nearby plant over the weekend. Liver specialist A Greek-American surgeon, Andreas Tzakis, who specializes in liver transplants is due to visit Archbishop Chirstodoulos at the Aretaio Hospital in Athens either this afternoon or tomorrow. Tzakis is expected in Athens today and will be given the medical file of the head of the Church of Greece who is suffering from liver cancer. Tzakis is the latest foreign doctor to visit the archbishop and discuss the treatment he is receiving with local physicians. Car chase A car chase in Thessaloniki ended yesterday with the arrest of three men found to be in possession of weapons and ammunition, according to authorities. The car chase started after the driver of the vehicle failed to stop at a traffic checkpoint. The suspects, two Albanian nationals and a Greek man, were found to be in possession of a Kalashnikov, a handgun and bullets. Police said they are searching for a fourth suspect who was also traveling in the car but escaped arrest. Cyprus mines Cyprus destroyed the last of its stockpile of 48,475 anti-personnel mines in a ceremony yesterday. Nicosia had embarked on a four-year program to honor its obligations under the Ottawa Treaty on land mines. «This is a historic moment for Cyprus,» said Foreign Minister Giorgos Lillikas. «Cyprus is one of the first countries in the world to fulfill its obligations under the treaty.» The National Guard is also committed to removing and destroying all anti-personnel mines laid in minefields under its control by July 2013. Crete holdup Armed robbers held up a security truck that was carrying cash for an ATM in the Sfakia area of Crete yesterday. The robbers were traveling in two cars and forced the truck to the side of the road. The driver of the truck and three security guards were forced out at gunpoint and three robbers grabbed a sack of cash from the truck. They then set fire to one of their cars, which was stolen, as well as the security truck, before driving off in a 4×4 vehicle. One of the guards was slightly injured in the heist. It was not immediately known how much money the robbers stole. Arson suspect Police said yesterday they arrested a man on the eastern Aegean island of Samos on charges of arson. The unidentified suspect, from the area of Pythagorion, is believed to be responsible for forest fires that raged on the island on Sunday. Biker killed A 22-year-old motorcyclist was killed in Thessaloniki yesterday when his bike crashed into a taxi. A second man traveling with him on the motorbike suffered minor injuries, according to police.