NEWS

In Brief

DEAD END

Tapping probe reaches conclusion but nobody will face charges Investigating magistrate Panayiotis Petropoulos has concluded his probe into the tapping of government phones, revealed last February, without being able to bring charges against anyone. It was revealed yesterday that after questioning more than 500 witnesses, Petropoulos concluded that he was not in any position to identify who was responsible for the operation that led to more than 100 mobile phones, including the prime minister’s, being tapped. An appeals prosecutor will examine the results of Petropoulos’s investigation so that he can recommend to the Council of Appeal Court Judges whether there should be a further probe. EXAM APPEAL Parents of high school student challenge validity of English tests The parents of a teenager who sat an English exam as part of this summer’s university entrance tests yesterday asked the Council of State to cancel the results of all English exams, following claims by examiners that they were instructed to remark some papers. The parents of the unnamed child said that the decision to change the marks on some papers meant that all the exams were not marked in the same way, which violates the Constitution. The student’s parents are also seeking to change the law that does not allow students to be given a copy of their exam paper once it has been marked. PAKISTANI ABDUCTIONS Allegations could be examined again The Athens Misdemeanors Council yesterday called for further investigation into abduction claims by Pakistani nationals despite a prosecutor’s proposal for the case to be shelved due to insufficient evidence. The council has called for an investigating magistrate to take further depositions from Pakistanis who claim to have been illegally abducted in Ioannina in the summer of 2005 and interrogated by secret service officials. FYROM tourism The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’s decision to allow Greeks to visit the neighboring country without a passport, just by showing their identity cards, was described by Greece yesterday as a «last resort» rather than a «goodwill gesture.» Foreign Ministry spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos said the decision was made after pressure from FYROM’s tourism industry as the number of Greeks visiting the country has dropped by 40 percent since the start of the year. Clubs rapped Athens prefectural officials brought 11 indictments against nightclub managers following a sweep of inspections of premises along the coastal highway, south of the capital, and Psyrri, in the city center. Most the bars inspected did not have licenses to operate and many violated health and safety regulations, officials said. Moderate earthquake An earthquake measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale hit Ioannina, northern Greece, yesterday but there were no reports of injuries or damages. The Athens Geodynamic Institute said the temblor struck at 12.03 p.m. and that its epicenter was located at Kapaki, about 25 kilometers northwest of Ioannina. Illegal immigrants The coast guard yesterday detained 31 illegal immigrants found traveling on a sailboat off the coast of Monemvasia, in the southern Peloponnese. Police said that three men, Ukranian nationals, were arrested in connection to the human-trafficking operation. The immigrants, from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Palestine, were taken for medical checkups, authorities added. Patriarch plot The Foreign Ministry yesterday described as «positive» reports from Turkey that authorities had arrested a group of far-right ex-army officers allegedly planning the murder of Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios. «We are carefully monitoring and evaluating any developments and information that has to do with the smooth functioning of the Patriarchate,» said Foreign Ministry spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos. The group was broken up last month after police discovered guns and explosives in a shed in Istanbul. Foreign Ministry sources told Kathimerini that Greece will wait for more information to be revealed before assessing how serious the plot was.