NEWS

In Brief

FUGITIVE CAUGHT

Mastermind of helicopter escape from Korydallos found in Agrinio A 27-year-old fugitive, believed to have planned the dramatic helicopter escape from Athens’s Korydallos Prison of convicted bank robber Vassilis Palaiocostas and Albanian criminal Alket Rizai, was arrested in the central town of Agrinio yesterday. The fugitive, identified as S.P., had been at large since June 2006 when he failed to return to Korydallos to continue serving a drug-related sentence following an eight-day furlough. He was caught while leaving a girlfriend’s house in Agrinio yesterday. The fugitive, described by police as «completely crazed by cocaine,» is believed to have planned the helicopter escape with an Albanian criminal who remains at large. SMASH HIT Singer Vandi safe after car crash Greek pop singer Despina Vandi was injured in a car crash on Kifissias Avenue in Maroussi, northern Athens, yesterday when she slammed her car into the back of a fuel tanker. Vandi was taken to the Geniko Kratiko Hospital where she received first aid before being transferred to a private clinic. Police said that the accident was probably caused by oil on the road surface. Nobody else was injured. Land register Hundreds of property owners yesterday waited for several hours to declare their homes on the country’s new land register. The lines were particularly long in central Syntagma Square, Athens, where property owners complained of lack of staff. Ktimatologio SA, the company set up to create the new land register, said it will extend the opening hours this week of some 70 land registry offices. Tractor death A 71-year-old farmer died in the hospital yesterday a few hours after the tractor he had been driving collided with a motorist near the small town of Meligala, in the Peloponnese. The elderly man had been turning off a small country road when he hit a car being driven by a 33-year-old man who was not harmed. Quarry protest More than 7,200 people have signed an online petition on Skai Radio’s website complaining about the illegal operation of quarries in Markopoulo, southeast Attica. Local police are to receive instructions within the next few days to intensify patrols of the area. Parliament Speaker Dimitris Sioufas last week wrote to the ministers of justice, environment, development and interior asking for them to probe evidence suggesting that two quarries at Markopoulo are still operating despite court rulings prohibiting it. Meat withdrawn Inspectors from the Piraeus Prefecture said yesterday that they had seized 2 tons of meat from two local stores, Kreatoemboriki Nikeas and Kanakis supermarket, after finding that the products had two expiry dates, no labeling or had partially thawed. Vartholomaios visit The spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians, Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios, will visit the semi-autonomous monastic community of Mount Athos on Thursday, it was revealed yesterday. Vartholomaios will conduct a service in the presence of representatives of the peninsula’s 20 monasteries.