NEWS

In Brief

MURDERERS SENTENCED

Court hands five life terms to father and son for 2006 killings of five A court yesterday sentenced livestock farmer Dionysis Foukas, 38, and his 74-year-old father Lysimachos to life in prison for the murder of five hunters following a dispute over trespass of their farmland. The murdered hunters – two brothers and three cousins aged 17 to 33 – were found in November 2006 near Agrinion, central Greece. The father and son were each handed five life terms for the killings. OLYMPIC FLAME More than 2,000 officers to watch over Panathenaic Stadium ceremony Police will deploy more than 2,000 officers in Athens this weekend to supervise the handover of the Beijing Olympics Flame to Chinese organizers. The move came after protests against Chinese rule in Tibet disrupted the launch of the Games torch relay in Ancient Olympia on Monday. A ceremony to mark the handing over of the flame will be held at Panathenaic Stadium in central Athens on Saturday in front of an estimated 20,000 people. Yesterday a small group of protesters unfurled pro-Tibet banners in Thessaloniki ahead of the flame’s arrival in the northern city. NIKOLOUTSOPOULOS REMANDED Lawyer faces blackmail charges Lawyer Christos Nikoloutsopoulos, a key witness in the alleged blackmail of former Culture Ministry general secretary Christos Zachopoulos, was remanded in custody late on Thursday after nearly 12 hours of testimony before a magistrate. The lawyer faces blackmail charges after accompanying Zachopoulos’s assistant, Evi Tsekou, to meetings with journalists during which her affair with the ministry official was discussed. Cyprus talks Cyprus President Dimitris Christofias said yesterday that finding a settlement to reunify the divided island would be «a very difficult task.» But he said the working groups he agreed to set up following talks with Turkish-Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat were a practical first step. «They have not been set up for show or for reasons of propaganda but to produce results,» Christofias said. Christofias and Cyprus Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou are to visit Washington for talks with US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice at the end of next month. Omonia body Police found the body of homeless man in Omonia, central Athens, late on Wednesday, that had been stabbed to death. The homeless man, estimated to have been around 35 to 40 years old, had suffered two knife wounds to the chest. The body was found in an area behind a church which homeless people often frequent, police added. Robbery ring Police in Thessaloniki said yesterday that they have traced a ring of foreigners that has netted 270,000 euros in cash and valuables by systematically robbing security firm vans. The five suspects – Iraqis and Moroccans aged between 24 and 37 – are believed to have carried out 32 raids on vans in the northern city between November 2006 and September 2007. Warrants for the five suspects’ arrest were issued yesterday. License to con A Chinese man tried to fool Athens prefectural officials that supervise driver license tests by attempting to sit for the theoretical part of the exam in the place of his friend. According to authorities, the man claimed to be his friend by presenting the other man’s residency permit despite their being obvious differences in the appearances of the two men. Suspects confess Two foreign nationals have confessed to murdering a 24-year-old man in Trikala, central Greece, authorities said yesterday. Police said the two unidentified suspects were found to be in possession of the murder weapon. They told police they killed the victim after arguing over a drug deal. Street shooting A 30-year-old Albanian was in the hospital yesterday after being shot in the leg in the central Athens district of Aghios Panteleimonas late on Wednesday. The victim had been getting out of his car when an unidentified assailant approached him and shot him twice in the leg. Police said the attack had probably been fueled by personal differences between the two men.