In Brief


Prosecutors interview guards, police seek convict, psychologist Three prosecutors yesterday interviewed guards at the Athens Korydallos prison to determine how a convicted murderer managed to walk out of the building on Monday accompanied by the prison psychologist. Meanwhile, police searched for the pair, who are believed to be lovers, and tightened security at airports, harbors and border crossings. Prosecutors will also grill inmates to establish whether they knew about the imminent escape of convicted American murderer Peter Sedhom, 32, and the role of Olga Atzamoglou, 45. Justice Minister Philippos Petsalnikos suspended the jail’s governor, chief warden and six guards on Tuesday. PRIVATE AIRPORTS Private firms, local government to be eligible for permits, decree says A presidential decree setting out the terms and provisions for the establishment and maintenance of privately run airports was signed yesterday by Transport Minister Christos Verelis. Private organizations and local government bodies will both be eligible to apply for permits to construct and run private airports whose activities will be overseen by the Civil Aviation Authority. MITSOTAKIS US operation ‘a success’ Honorary New Democracy Chairman Constantine Mitsotakis was yesterday recovering at a hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, after an operation to strengthen the walls of a weak artery was completed without complications. The operation was a «complete success,» sources close to the former Prime Minister said. Mitsotakis, who headed an ND government from 1990-93, will remain under observation at the center for a few more days and is due back in Athens next week. Earthquake trial The owner of the Athens Fyaloplast factory is to be tried for the manslaughter of three people who died when the factory building collapsed in the 1999 earthquake, after the Appeals Council decided yesterday that his repeated oversights provoked the tragedy. Panayiotis Kalavrytinos did not make the necessary repairs to the factory building which was damaged by earthquake in 1981 and a fire in 1995, the court ruled. Property killing The deputy mayor of Koroni, in the southern Peloponnesian region of Messinia, turned himself in to local police late on Tuesday night after fatally wounding a German national from the village of Vassilitsi following a dispute over property. Armin Scharnsberger, 70, died after being hit on the head by a stone thrown by Dimitris Lambropoulos, 62. Military service Male heads of families will only be obliged to serve nine months’ military service as of January 2003, Deputy Defense Minister Loukas Apostolidis said yesterday. The reduction by three months in the existing 12-month term is part of a new draft law proposing reform of matters related to both professional soldiers and draft-dodgers. Exploited women More than 200,000 people in Greece make a living by exploiting 20,000 foreign women forced into prostitution, whose services are employed by 1 million men, speakers told yesterday’s UNESCO-backed international conference in Thessaloniki on human trafficking. Prostitutes in Greece are usually 18-30 years old and of average education, with 95 percent coming from Central or Eastern Europe, Thessaloniki Police Chief Giorgos Kokkinis said, adding that many are psychologically disturbed or drug addicts. Forged euros The circulation of forged euro notes in northern Greece has increased with another five forged 10-, 20- and 50-euro notes confiscated from two banks in the northern prefecture of Serres in the last few days, the Athens News Agency reported yesterday. Fifteen forged notes have been found in Thessaloniki and the northern towns of Komotini and Orestiada over the last few weeks. Greek-Turkish talks A new round of exploratory talks on Greek-Turkish issues are to begin on Monday when the Foreign Ministry’s Political Director Anastasios Skopelitis meets his Turkish counterpart Ugur Ziyal, the Foreign Ministry announced yesterday.