NEWS

In Brief

VARTHOLOMAIOS PURSUED

Istanbul prosecutor calls patriarch to justify use of term ‘ecumenical’ A prosecutor in Istanbul has called Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios to give testimony as to why he used a phrase referring to the «ecumenical nature of the Patriarchate» during a conference for Orthodox youth held in the city in July. This is the second time in the last month that the prosecutor’s office has made such a request. After the first inquiry, the Patriarchate’s legal team pointed out that the term «ecumenical» had been in use since the 6th century. The Patriarchate expected the matter to be resolved and was surprised by the new request. Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis said the decision was «provocative» and «totally unacceptable.» FRAUDSTER CAUGHT Greek American wanted for hedge fund scam arrested on Crete The former head of a hedge fund in New York was arrested on Crete yesterday and could be extradited to the USA, where he has pleaded guilty to criminal fraud charges. Angelos Haliyiannis, 35, was the president of the Sterling Watters Hedge Fund and was convicted of defrauding investors, including members of the Greek-American community, of at least $27 million (20 million euros) by grossly misrepresenting the fund’s returns since 1996. He fled the USA before being sentenced. He was arrested at a hotel in Gouves after being spotted by a guest who had lost money through the hedge fund. Sources said Haliyiannis will be remanded in temporary custody while extradition proceedings begin. TOURIST RAPE Two ferry sailors charged Two crew members of a ferry boat have been charged in connection with the alleged rape of a 23-year-old British woman on board a vessel that was sailing between the islands of Myconos and Kos last week. One man has been charged with rape and the other with being an accessory to rape. The men, a steward and an assistant to the captain, have denied raping the unnamed woman as they say she consented to having sex, Reuters reported. The ferry company has fired both sailors. Human trafficking There are up to 25,000 human trafficking victims in Greece, according to figures released yesterday by the Public Order Ministry. The majority are forced into prostitution and the number of Greek men who use their services has shot up by 600 percent since the early 1990s, the ministry said. Some 80 percent of the victims are foreign women. The most common countries of origin are Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, Russia, Moldova and Nigeria. Pinios pollution Campaigners in Larissa, central Greece, yesterday called on authorities to clean up the Pinios River after hundred of dead fish were found in the water over the last few days. «All indications are that the Pinios cannot take any more pollution,» the vice president of the Friends of Pinios Association, Yianna Gerocosta, told Kathimerini. Campaigners said that the water is being polluted by pesticides that are being washed through drainage channels from farmers’ fields. Million-euro theft Thieves broke into a jewelry store in the old town on the island of Kos early yesterday and stole 1 million euros worth of merchandise, police said. The robbers used a crowbar to force open the door and stole valuables from the display window. Police did not provide further details about the store that was raided. Kyrkos discharged Synaspismos Left Coalition founder Leonidas Kyrkos thanked hospital staff and well-wishers yesterday as he was discharged from the Alexandra Hospital just over a month after being admitted into the intensive-care unit following a heart attack. The 83-year-old underwent an operation on a blocked artery. Undercover brothel A man has been arrested in the Athens suburb of Galatsi on suspicion of using a beauty spa business in the area as a front for running a brothel, police said yesterday. Officers did not give anymore details about the man but said that he had been procuring Greek and foreign women on the premises. Unsafe Employees of the Municipality of Lerna in Argolida, Peloponnese, returned to work at the town hall on Monday to find a safe containing cash missing, police said yesterday.