NEWS

In Brief

Sea Diamond

Owner of sunken ferry says it was not at fault, won’t lift wreck Louis Hellenic Cruises, the owner of the Sea Diamond ferry that sank off Santorini last year, said its insurance will not cover the cost of a salvage operation, as the ferry operator was not responsible for the accident. The Sea Diamond has remained at the bottom of the sea near the popular island since April, with tons of fuel still in its tanks. The operator has blamed incorrect markings on maps as being responsible for the ship crashing into rocks. Experts have warned that if the fuel leaks from the tanks, it will cause a serious environmental problem. Hania blast Dynamite under police chief’s car causes damage but no injuries A homemade explosive device that had been planted under the car of a local police chief in Hania, Crete, detonated early yesterday morning, destroying the car as well as two other vehicles and a motorcycle parked outside the officer’s home. There were no injuries caused by the blast, which launched the hood of the policeman’s car onto the roof of a nearby apartment block. The device had been made using dynamite, police said. Child porn Seven charged across country Seven Greeks have been charged with trading in child pornography over the Internet, police said yesterday following two days of surprise raids on addresses across the country. The suspects – traced in Athens, Larissa, Ioannina, Aigio, Oropos and Loutraki – are all alleged to have traded in material containing child pornography around the middle of last month. Officers confiscated 14 computer hard drives and several DVDs. It was unclear whether the seven suspects are believed to be members of the same ring. Army suicide? A 24-year-old reserve soldier was found dead yesterday at an army unit in Rhodope, northern Greece, in an apparent suicide. The unnamed soldier died of a gunshot wound to his chest, caused by his own service rifle. It was the third suspected soldier suicide in the past month following deaths in Athens and Evros. Monastery raid Unidentified robbers removed a section of an iconostasis, or choir screen, from a monastery near the northwestern town of Ioannina, police said yesterday. The screen, measuring 4 meters by 50 centimeters, bore paintings dating to the early 17th century, according to the manager of the monastery, which is uninhabited. Blackmailers caught A 28-year-old woman and her 30-year-old male companion have been arrested in Athens accused of attempting to blackmail a bank manager for 45,000 euros in exchange for not uncovering details about his extramarital affair, police said yesterday. The female suspect had previously had an affair with the bank manager and pretended that an unknown man had threatened to make public phone conversations and photos of them together if he was not given the money. Police then arranged for the victim to pay off the woman and arrested the two suspects. Cretan weapons Police said yesterday they had arrested three men in Hania, Crete, found in possession of a number of weapons, including four handguns. The weapons were uncovered during a raid on a home and store in the center of Hania. Other weapons uncovered included a rifle, a hunting gun, a large number of knives and bullets. Police did not disclose what they believe the weapons were for. Post-quake checks Local authorities in Messinia were yesterday inspecting public and private buildings for damage wreaked by Thursday’s powerful quakes of 6.5 and 6.4 on the Richter scale. The quakes caused little damage, chiefly due to the depth of their epicenter. Local schools remained closed for precautionary reasons. Illegal immigrants Coast guard officials arrested a 36-year-old male driver in Igoumenitsa yesterday for attempting to sneak four illegal immigrants onto a ferry. The unidentified immigrants had been hidden on board a truck that was leaving Greece, officials added.