NEWS

In Brief

POLITICIAN CHARGED

Retired MP Yiannis Kefaloyiannis to face trial over cannabis ‘cover-up’ Veteran New Democracy politician Yiannis Kefaloyiannis was charged yesterday with harboring a criminal and forcing another to commit a crime. A prosecutor in Rethymnon charged the retired Cretan MP after allegations that he had asked policemen not to testify against a farmer they caught cultivating 550 cannabis trees in the area of Mylopotamos in 2006. Kefaloyiannis, a former interior minister, is still an official adviser to Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and, should he be convicted of the misdemeanors, it would be a considerable embarrassment to the government. RUBBISH CLASH Protest against landfill on Corfu turns violent as police intervene Police clashed with protesters in Lefkimi, on the island of Corfu, yesterday as residents protested against plans to build a landfill in the area. A pregnant woman, aged 25, was seriously injured when hit by a motorcyclist who was trying to escape from police after being beaten by them, according to residents. Some 250 protesters had circled the area and set fire to tires and rubbish as a means of keeping work crews out of the proposed landfill site. There were no reports of arrests. HEARING POSTPONED Strike prevents activists arguing case A Greek court postponed yesterday the trial of three Reporters Without Borders (RSF) media activists accused of disrupting the Ancient Olympia flame-lighting ceremony for the Beijing Olympic Torch in March. The trial, set to take place in Pyrgos, the Peloponnese, was postponed due to a strike by Greek judicial workers. Abuse allegation Police have arrested a 26-year-old Albanian national for allegedly sexually abusing a 12-year-old girl, authorities said yesterday. The man, charged with seducing a child and causing bodily harm, would visit the girl’s home when her mother was out. The suspect and the girl’s mother were first cousins. Police said the mother had been aware of the suspect abusing the girl for the last four months but delayed reporting the incident to police after being threatened by the man. Robbers traced Police have arrested three members of a ring believed to be behind 11 robberies and 21 burglaries in Attica since last October. The two Albanians, aged 19 and 21, and an 18-year-old Greek are thought to have been involved in dozens of – often violent – attacks on gas stations, street kiosks, minimarkets and other stores. In a jewelry shop raid last November in Artemida the store owner was shot in the knee, while the owner of a food manufacturer in Acharnes received a gunshot wound to the head last month. ND targeted Unidentified arsonists targeted an office of the ruling New Democracy party in Ambelokipi early yesterday, damaging the facade of the building and destroying a car. No one was injured. Mayor arrest An ethnic Greek mayor in western Albania has been arrested after removing road signs in his area and demanding that they include Greek names, Reuters reported yesterday. A prosecutor said the removal of the signs, written in English, by Vasil Bollano was illegal and had disrupted traffic. Bollano has long championed more rights for Albania’s ethnic Greeks. Hania woes A fire that broke out in a warehouse storing children’s toys in the Cretan port of Hania yesterday destroyed the building but was contained by firemen before it could spread to neighboring stores. The blaze was fueled by toy sprays containing highly flammable liquids and by phials containing helium. No one was injured. In a separate development in Hania, police arrested a 55-year-old fisherman and his 27-year-old son after finding some 25 kilos of dynamite in their possession. The illegal practice of using dynamite to blow fish to the surface of the sea is widespread. Dealer caught A 29-year-old man was caught in Iraklion, Crete, yesterday while carrying almost a kilo of heroin hidden in his car. Police said the Albanian national told them that he had started dealing drugs to pay off a debt run up by his jailed brother.