NEWS

Horseowner killed at racetrack

A racehorse owner was shot dead and his brother seriously injured outside the racetrack at Neo Faliron, southern Athens, yesterday morning in what police believe may have been an underworld settling of accounts over race-fixing. Dimitris Michailidis, 32, and his brother Vassilis, 36 – also a racehorse owner – were walking behind the racecourse with a jockey, whom police later identified as Constantine Sgouros, when two men on a motorbike wearing crash-helmets drove up to them on the corner of Sachtouri and Navarinou Streets and the pillion rider opened fire with a revolver. The jockey ran off and was still being sought by officers yesterday for his account of the attack. Dimitris Michailidis died instantly and his brother, who was shot in the legs and genitals, was taken to the nearby Onassis Cardiac Surgery Center and thence to Evangelismos hospital where his wounds were said not to be life-threatening. Police are investigating whether the attack was connected to allegedly rigged races at the track. Detectives are also examining the possibility that it was a settling of accounts by underworld figures. A relative of the two brothers told police the attack had been organized from within Korydallos Prison. Just three weeks ago, the brothers had requested police protection after someone riddled their car with bullet-holes while they were in a nightclub in nearby Tzitzifies. Their brother Theofilos yesterday gave police names of people he suspected may have been connected with the attack. Some sources said Vassilis Michailidis recognized his assailants and had tried to attack them before he was shot. Police are also looking into possible links with the 1995 murder at the racetrack of Pete Papadakos, who was killed in almost exactly the same manner.