NEWS

In Brief

Pavlidis probe

Committee gets ball rolling with shipowner’s testimony Shipowner Fotis Manousis, whose allegations of blackmail against former Aegean Minister Aristotelis Pavlidis led to the formation of a committee to probe the affair, yesterday became the first witness to testify in the investigation. Manousis’s lawyer claimed that his client’s testimony substantiates his allegations. The shipowner had claimed that Pavlidis and his aide at the time, Panayiotis Zachariou, had demanded and accepted bribes of some 700,000 euros in return for ensuring that he was awarded state contracts to service state-subsidized routes to remote islands. The committee has decided to summon a total of 28 witnesses. The report is due for completion on April 27. Voting abroad Opposition parties reject bill Opposition parties PASOK, the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) and the Communists late on Tuesday voted against a bill that would allow Greeks living abroad to vote in Greece’s general elections in their countries of residence. Parliament Speaker Dimitris Sioufas said there was no point in the bill being debated any further as the ruling conservatives need 200 of the 300 MPs in Parliament to vote in favor of it for it become law. Fatal break-in A 75-year-old man was shot dead and his wife transferred to the hospital with multiple injuries yesterday after two robbers broke into their home in the village of Iasio in the northern prefecture of Rodopi. On being spotted by the couple, one of the intruders fired a gun at the man, killing him. The other assailant is believed to have used an ax to inflict serious injuries on the man’s wife whose condition late yesterday was unclear. The pair were found by their son, who alerted the police. Rizai brother The brother of Alket Rizai, the convicted murderer who escaped from Korydallos Prison in February with serial robber Vassilis Palaiocostas, was found in a Glyfada apartment yesterday with fatal stab wounds, police said. The apartment is believed to have been used as a base by Alket Rizai. Escape bid A Greek detainee who had been due to attend an appeals court hearing in Athens yesterday punched and kicked the officer escorting him in an attempt to escape but was held down by additional police officers. According to officers, the man subsequently bashed his head against the wall of an elevator at a police station. Raider in red A woman wearing a red jacket, red cap and glasses raided a bank branch in the northern Athens district of Halandri yesterday after calmly handing the chief cashier a note reading, «This is a robbery; I have a gun, give me the money.» According to staff at the Eurobank branch, the woman handed over the note and then opened her jacket to show a gun she had concealed there. The cashier gave a bag of cash to the woman who left on foot. There had been no sign of her by late yesterday.