NEWS

In Brief

CHIOS CHASE

Investigation into medical assistance given to dying suspect Authorities are to investigate claims by coroners in Athens that the 48-year-old man who died after a chase with the coast guard off Chios on Sunday was not given adequate medical help before he died, it was revealed yesterday. Coroners found that the unnamed man died from a heart attack after losing blood and going into shock. However, sources yesterday said that all the evidence so far indicates that the coast guard acted correctly in trying to stop the dinghy the 48-year-old and two other men were sailing by firing warning shots. Sources added that there is evidence linking the other two men to the migrant smuggling. NO CONTAMINATION Praktiker fire did not leave traces of harmful substances behind A fire at a Praktiker home improvement store in eastern Thessaloniki did not lead to the soil in the area becoming contaminated with harmful substances, authorities said yesterday. Tests on soil and vegetables from the surrounding areas did not show any traces of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) or dioxins. The store was destroyed by the blaze but nobody was injured. MANOS DOUBT Independent MP likely to bow out Independent MP Stefanos Manos said yesterday that he would probably not stand for Parliament in the upcoming general election. «I am not committing to anything but I will probably not stand as a candidate,» said the deputy, who was elected in 2004 on the PASOK ticket. Body found The body of a 30-year-old man has been found in a field in Spata, northeast of Athens, police said yesterday. Officers said the unidentified man had been bludgeoned to death with a sharp object. Police are waiting for a coroner’s report and forensic tests before they can be more certain how the man was killed. Cannabis plantation Authorities confiscated 3,430 cannabis plants up to 2 meters high in a forest area southwest of Hania, Crete, yesterday in what is one of the biggest illegal plantations found on the island. The cannabis was being grown in 14 guarded areas in a forest close to the area of Elafonisi. Police said they believe two foreign nationals were in charge of taking care of the plants and that a Greek national is the owner of the well-organized plantation. A manhunt has been launched for the suspects. Driver killed A 41-year-old woman was killed in the region of Gortynia, in the Peloponnese, when part of a roadside cliff fell onto her car, authorities said. Police have launched an investigation into the incident. Illegal immigrants The coast guard detained 11 illegal immigrants in the port of Patras when they attempted to sneak on board a ferry, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. The illegal immigrants were hidden in a caravan that was boarding the ferry when coast guard officials stopped the vehicle for inspection. No information was given regarding the identification of the illegal immigrants. The 42-year-old driver, a foreign national, and an 18-year-old female passenger were arrested. Loan shark A Thessaloniki court ruled yesterday that a suspect should stand trial over allegations that he acted as a loan shark and lent a businessman 12,000 euros at a monthly interest rate of 50 percent. The businessman, who has a gambling habit, reported the incident to police after being severely beaten by two men when he defaulted on a loan payment. The outstanding debt had reached 50,000 euros and the businessman was no longer in any position to meet the payments. Hunting season The Agricultural Ministry said yesterday that hunting season will start on August 20 and will run through February 29. The cost of hunting permits will also increase by an average of 5 percent for the 2007-2008 period, the ministry added.