NEWS

In Brief

CASE BEGINS

Members of alleged trial-fixing ring appear before judges An Athens court yesterday launched the trial of two former judges, as well as several lawyers and businessmen, implicated in a trial-fixing ring. The court refrained from ruling on appeals for the trial’s postponement by a key figure in the alleged ring, Constantina Bourboulia, who has asked to be released from Korydallos Prison, citing serious health problems. Another former judge, Evangelos Kaloussis, has said he is eager for proceedings to get under way, claiming that he his extended detention is illegal. BANK ROBBER Man caught by passer-by remanded in custody as accomplice sought A 22-year-old man who was caught after robbing a bank on Wednesday was remanded in custody yesterday as police continued to look for his alleged accomplice. Officers are looking into whether the suspect Giorgos Voutsis, the son of Nikos Voutsis, a member of the Coalition of the Radical Left’s (SYRIZA) political office, had taken part in other robberies in the past. He was apprehended by a passer-by who followed the robbers and then held down the 23-year-old until the police arrived. Voutsis admitted his part in the robbery but refused to make any further comment. SYRIZA leader Alekos Alavanos denounced Voutsis’s alleged actions but said that they do not imply «collective political or family responsibility.» DRUG GANG Four caught with heroin stash Police in Thessaloniki have arrested four men who they suspect were intending to sell 6.5 kilos of heroin in the city. Officers revealed yesterday that they acted after receiving information about the sale of drugs in central Macedonia. The four suspects are all Albanian nationals and police said that they are looking for at least one more Albanian man in connection to the alleged gang. Two of the men were caught while allegedly trying to sell half a kilo of heroin. The other two were arrested when officers subsequently raided an apartment in Thessaloniki, where they found the other 6 kilos of the drug. Missing prisoner A search was launched yesterday for a 37-year-old inmate who failed to return to Nafplion prison in the Peloponnese after a five-day furlough. The unnamed man had been serving a one-year sentence for a series of thefts. Metro extension Works to extend Line 2 of the Athens metro from Aghios Dimitrios to the coastal suburb of Hellenikon are two weeks ahead of schedule, having already reached Argyroupolis, a metro spokesman said yesterday. Work is expected to have reached the next scheduled station along the route, in Alimos, by next spring. Illegal immigrants A Turkish national believed to have smuggled 18 illegal immigrants into Greece from neighboring Turkey yesterday faced a prosecutor on the island of Samos. The migrants, of various nationalities, were taken to the local reception center which was condemned by the United Nations refugee agency earlier this week for being «horribly overcrowded.» Meanwhile, port authority officials on Lesvos detained 12 illegal immigrants. A 27-year-old man believed to have smuggled them over from Turkey was arrested. Guns found Police arrested a man and a woman, both Greek nationals, in Argolida in the Peloponnese, for possessing two guns and small amounts of cocaine. Police found the weapons and narcotics in the car they were driving which had no number plates. Suspects arrested Two men, aged 27 and 26, have been charged with 19 counts of theft from retail stores and offices over a four-month period in Thessaloniki, police said yesterday. The suspects are believed to have taken cash and electrical appliances during the break-ins that took place between July to October 2006, police added. Armed heist Two armed men held up a branch of Marfin Egnatia Bank in Thessaloniki yesterday and made off with 7,000 euros in cash.