NEWS

In Brief

MITSOTAKIS BACKED

Government says explanations on Siemens are sufficient The government yesterday appeared to back MP Kyriakos Mitsotakis after it was revealed he had purchased 137,000 euros’ worth of equipment from Siemens. Government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros said that Mitsotakis had already explained his position and that this sufficed. Siemens is being investigated for alleged bribery and it emerged that the Athens MP had made an arrangement to pay the firm for his equipment over 12 months. However, he made the final payment of 43,850 euros on June 2, three days after a prosecutor visited the electronics company’s offices. PARNITHA ALERT Fire service puts out blaze near homes in Afidnes Firefighters were called to put out several fires near Mount Parnitha, north of Athens, yesterday. The most serious fire was near Afidnes, just some 500 meters from homes in the area. Water-dropping planes were also enlisted in the effort to put out the blaze, which was reported to be under control last night. The forest on Mount Parnitha was devastated by fire last summer. PILOTS INJURED Plane misses Santorini runway Two pilots of an air force reconnaissance plane were taken to the hospital on Santorini yesterday after their aircraft overshot the runway during landing. The pilots’ lives were not in any danger but the plane was destroyed following the incident, which occurred at about 7 a.m. The plane overshot the runway by around 50 meters, probably due to a failure in its hydraulic system. Actor’s funeral Dozens of people gathered yesterday in Drama, northeastern Greece, for the funeral of actor Nikos Sergianopoulos, who was found dead in his apartment in Athens on Wednesday morning. He had been stabbed 21 times. The 56-year-old played in a number of television series as well as theater roles. Police said that the fingerprints they collected from the actor’s home and car did not match any that were already in their records. Officer attacked A policeman on a motorcycle was attacked outside Aristotle University in Thessaloniki yesterday. The policeman was not seriously injured but his motorbike was damaged. The officer had been on his way to the scene of a car crash when he was attacked. His assailants fled toward the university campus after the attack. Tibetan protest Eight Tibetan activists were arrested outside the Hilton Hotel in Athens yesterday after protesting for a second day against China’s policies in Tibet, as the International Olympic Committee met within. The activists were members of the Students for a Free Tibet group. They were demanding that the IOC cancels its plans to hold part of the Olympic Torch relay in Tibet and that it force China to allow journalists into the area. Fugitive penalty An internal investigation into the escape of a suspect from police custody in Thessaloniki last month has recommended that two officers be thrown off the force. After escaping from a patrol car and stealing one of the officer’s handguns, 33-year-old drug addict Dimitris Albanis shot dead a 59-year-old bus driver. Both officers escaped jail sentences when they went on trial last month. The police force’s own probe into the incident proposes that another two officers, from whom Albanis stole a patrol car, should be fined. Work-site shooting A robber shot a contractor in the foot in Thessaloniki yesterday in order to steal 4,000 euros in cash that was due to be paid to workers at a municipal building site. The robber had tried to snatch the bag containing the money but, when the unnamed contractor resisted, his assailant pulled out a handgun and shot him. The victim was taken to the hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening. The robber ran off with the money on foot. Smuggler caught A people smuggler and three illegal immigrants were arrested near Ioannina, northwestern Greece, yesterday. Police made the arrests after stopping a car that had just entered the country from Albania. Another car, thought to be part of a two-vehicle convoy, sped off and was later found abandoned on the national road to Athens. Both cars had been stolen from Athens in the past few days.