NEWS

In Brief

PASSARIS PLEA

Convicted murderer wants to return to Greek prison and face charges Costas Passaris, who was once Greece’s most-wanted criminal and is currently serving a life sentence in a Romanian prison, has asked authorities in Athens to let him see out the remainder of his term in a Greek jail. Passaris’s lawyer asked the Justice Ministry yesterday to approve the criminal’s transfer and allow him to stand trial in Greece as well. Passaris was found guilty in Romania in July 2003 of the murder of a cashier and a security guard at a currency exchange bureau in Bucharest. In February 2001, Passaris escaped from a hospital in Athens after killing two police officers escorting him. He has also been accused of killing two other people in Greece. If he returns to Greece, he faces 18 charges, five of which are for criminal offenses. WORKER ELECTROCUTED Man, 23, dies while installing lights on Ioannina-Preveza highway A 23-year-old man died yesterday after being electrocuted during work on the Ioannina-Preveza national road in northwestern Greece, authorities said. The man, who was not named, had been holding a metal lamppost that was being lifted into place when it came into contact with an overhead power cable. The 23-year-old was killed instantly. The incident is being investigated by police in the town of Louro, near the scene of the accident. METROPOLITAN DIES Santorini mourns loss of 82-year-old Bishop Panteleimon of Santorini and Amorgos has died at the age of 82, the Church of Greece said yesterday. He had served on Santorini for the last 18 years but suffered a number of illnesses recently caused by his diabetes. His funeral service will take place today at Athens Cathedral. Cyprus diplomat Cyprus’s new foreign minister, Erato Kozakou-Markoullis, is due in Athens today for her first official visit to Greece since taking up the post. Kozakou-Markoullis is due to have talks with her Greek counterpart Dora Bakoyannis and President Karolos Papoulias. Kozakou-Markoullis is the island’s former ambassador to the USA and took over from Giorgos Lillikas as foreign minister during a cabinet reshuffle earlier this month. She is Cyprus’s first woman foreign minister. Ship doctors Twelve more doctors were yesterday assigned to serve on passenger ferries, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. The decision came after a 29-year-old woman died after suffering an epileptic fit on a ferry that was traveling from the island of Kythnos to Piraeus. Ferry companies are now obliged to have a doctor on board many of their vessels, following a recent change in the law, but there was no doctor serving on the ferry on which the 29-year-old died. Kalohori quake An earthquake measuring 3.5 on the Richter scale shook the northern Greek area of Kalohori, near Thessaloniki, yesterday but there were no reports of injuries or damage. The tremor, which struck at 4.22 p.m., was one of the aftershocks from last week’s 4.7 Richter earthquake in the region, according to experts. Porn DVDs Police in Thessaloniki yesterday confiscated 7,260 DVDs containing pornography that were to be sold with newspapers. The DVDs were taken from a newspaper distribution center during checks held between July 18 and 20. There were no reports of arrests. Man overboard Rescue teams lifted to safety a 28-year-old man, a foreign national, who had fallen overboard while traveling on a Icelandic-flagged sailboat, 2 nautical miles off the Aegean island of Antipaxos. The coast guard along with other vessels in the area took part in the rescue operation. The man has been taken to a hospital in Preveza, northern Greece, for treatment. Bank attacked A branch of Millennium Bank in Thessaloniki caught fire early yesterday after a homemade bomb was placed at its entrance. Police said the explosive device, which contained three cooking gas canisters, went off at around 4.30 a.m. Nobody was injured but the bank suffered extensive damage.