NEWS

In Brief

Prison reforms

Gov’t: Some 5,500 inmates to get early release by April Reforms tabled in Parliament earlier this week will lead to the early release of 5,500 inmates from prisons across the country by April, Justice Ministry sources said yesterday. If these releases are realized, prison numbers will be virtually halved from the 12,000 inmates currently in jail, while overcrowding will be drastically reduced. Ministry sources said a hunger strike by prisoners protesting detention conditions was slackening but conceded that some 4,000 are still refusing meals. Transport disruption No metro again today A metro strike yesterday provoked chronic traffic problems in the city center as thousands of commuters who usually use the network took their cars, clogging up roads, or piled onto crammed buses and trams. With metro workers striking again today, similar disruption is expected in the capital. Child porn Police in the Cretan prefecture of Hania arrested two brothers for allegedly trading in child pornography after finding computer hard drives and discs containing hundreds of photographs and videos of naked children believed to be aged between 7 and 10. Officers from the police’s electronic crime unit traced the two men with the help of Interpol. Landfill clash Riot police fired tear gas yesterday to disperse dozens of residents in Lefkimi, southern Corfu, who were protesting against the creation of a landfill in their area. One woman was arrested after the protests and a police patrol car was destroyed in an arson attack. Residents of Lefkimi have clashed violently with police several times this year for the same reason. Trafficking ring A 27-year-old Greek woman and three male immigrants, one aged just 13, were charged with sex trafficking yesterday after police in Megara, northern Attica, released a 25-year-old foreign woman they are alleged to have forced into prostitution. The alleged victim, whose nationality was not made public, was being taken to and from houses and forced to offer sexual services, police said. All four suspects faced a prosecutor yesterday. Unlucky robber A 48-year-old Bulgarian laborer was being questioned by police in the Peloponnesian city of Kalamata yesterday after allegedly beating up the 86-year-old owner of a coffee shop in a failed robbery attempt. The would-be robber is alleged to have burst into the elderly man’s store in a village near Kalamata and punched him several times in the face. He then locked the elderly man in his store and fled, police said. Council rates Athens municipal authorities yesterday approved an exemption from an increase in council rates for families with four children or more. The exemption from the 2.4 percent increase in charges – chiefly for sanitation and street lighting – will apply for 520,000 households.