NEWS

In Brief

EX-BISHOP JAILED

Appeal against suspended term for fraud backfires An appeal by the former bishop of Attica, Panteleimon, against an eight-year suspended jail sentence for embezzling funds from a monastery backfired yesterday when a court decided to jail him for six years, effective immediately. The former bishop was transferred to Korydallos Prison after an Athens court rejected his attempt to clear his name. Panteleimon had been found guilty of embezzling the equivalent of 195,000 euros between 1995 and 1998 from a monastery in Nea Makri, northeastern Attica. The case came to light after several nuns at the monastery complained about suspected mishandling of public donations. ORGAN TRADERS Migrant says was asked to sell kidney for 25,000 euros Police in Thessaloniki revealed yesterday that they are investigating the possible existence of a gang trading in human organs. A probe was launched after a 21-year-old Moroccan man told officers that while he was being kept in a migrant reception center in the city last December he was approached by three men he did not know who asked him if he was willing to donate his kidney in return for 25,000 euros. FRAUDSTERS CAUGHT Foreign duo targeted drivers Police in Thessaloniki yesterday arrested a foreign couple charged with bag-snatching from cars in the northern city. In the most recent incident, the 41-year-old man and 38-year-old woman are alleged to have stopped a female motorist, claiming that there was something wrong with her car. As soon as the woman got out of the car to check the vehicle, one of them grabbed her bag and they both fled, according to police. The woman had just withdrawn cash from an ATM so it is thought the pair had followed her. Serious burns An elderly woman was hospitalized in the Peloponnesian port town of Nafplion with serious burns yesterday after catching fire in her backyard in nearby Argolida. It is thought that the woman might have set a fire to burn some rubbish. The burns she sustained covered 70 percent of her body. Failed mugging The deputy director of a post office in Thessaloniki was beaten by an armed mugger yesterday. The victim was punched just after he had withdrawn cash from an ATM near his place of work. The mugger fired two shots into the air when people at a nearby cafeteria realized what was going on. The mugger then got into a car and sped off. The victim, who was not named, was taken to the hospital for treatment. Zachopoulos probe Magistrate Dimitris Economou yesterday called for a journalist from the Proto Thema newspaper to face questioning over allegations that he viewed a video allegedly showing former Culture Ministry general secretary Christos Zachopoulos having sex with his assistant Evi Tsekou. Journalist Yiannis Makriyiannis is alleged to have been present at a meeting where Tsekou allegedly showed the footage to the newspaper’s co-owner Themos Anastassiadis. Rethymnon doctors Doctors at the state hospital in Rethymnon, Crete, decided yesterday to stop working duty hours because they have not been paid the extra hours they have worked over the last three months. Their action also means that only emergency cases will be treated at the hospital. Teen thieves Police in Athens yesterday arrested two teenagers, aged 16 and 18, believed to be behind a string of car thefts. The youths, believed to have been operating with accomplices, are alleged to have used a special key to steal several cars. Officers confiscated a semi-automatic shotgun following a search of the teenagers’ homes. Police protest Police officers working at the main police station in the Cretan port of Hania yesterday distributed hand-held fans to fellow workers and detainees in a symbolic protest at the absence of air conditioning in the building amid sweltering temperatures. «We are all suffering over here: the workers, detainees and citizens who visit our offices,» said Eftychis Markantonakis, the president of the local police workers’ union. US Embassy The consular section of the US Embassy in Athens will be closed to the public next Wednesday, June 25, for administrative reasons, as is normal on the last Wednesday of every month. The closure also affects the visa unit.