NEWS

In Brief

PARK DISPUTE

Tree-felling protesters in Patissia win reprieve A legal suit brought by 28 residents in the district of Patissia against the City of Athens over the felling of trees in a local park has resulted in a temporary caveat on the construction of a planned underground parking garage on the site. An Athens appeals court is scheduled to hear the case next Thursday, February 5. Meanwhile, the residents’ committee has organized a tree-planting drive and concerts at the site, which they are guarding on a 24-hour basis. Locals said 45 trees have been felled. Authorities counter that only a few trees were cut down and say that more than 100 trees will be planted once the underground car park has been constructed. LAWYER MURDER Probe turns to business links Police investigating the murder of 53-year-old lawyer Spyros Ioannou in Kyparissia, central Greece, are turning their attention to his business contacts. Ioannou died in the hospital on Thursday after being attacked last Tuesday night in his office. A senior police officer told Kathimerini the case was clearly an act of revenge or intimidation. Lawyers in the central town have said they will go on strike until February 6 in protest at their colleague’s murder. Bank blast An improvised explosive device made out of gas canisters detonated shortly before 3 a.m. outside a branch of Probank in Thessaloniki yesterday. The explosion provoked a fire that caused minor damage to the facade of the bank before the local fire brigade arrived to extinguish it. No injuries were reported. Rash of robberies Yesterday there was a spate of five bank robberies and one attack on a postal van that resulted in the injury of one of the occupants, who was shot in the leg. The van was held up in the southern coastal suburb of Moschato after it had left a post office branch in nearby Tavros. Banks in the districts of Alimos, Dafni, Athens and Neo Psychico and a branch of Hellenic Postbank in Galatsi were robbed. Urban rail closures All stations on the stretch of the Piraeus-Kifissia urban electric railway (ISAP) between Piraeus and Omonia will be closed today and tomorrow, as construction work gets under way. Passengers will be transferred by blue bus number 500A from the Piraeus urban rail station to the metro station at Omonia Square. Child pornography A doctor who holds a senior position in a welfare organization for disabled children as well as a businessman have been remanded in custody after being charged with involvement in a child pornography racket that had been operating over the Internet. It was unclear whether the racket was the same as the ring busted earlier this week in which an Orthodox priest and two doctors as well as several businessmen have been implicated.