NEWS

In Brief

SIEMENS SCANDAL

German court to rule today on Christoforakos appeal A German constitutional court is today due to rule on an appeal lodged by former Siemens Hellas CEO Michalis Christoforakos, a key suspect in the cash-for-contracts scandal, against his extradition to Greece where he faces trial on charges of money-laundering and bribery. Court sources in Munich yesterday told Kathimerini that Christoforakos is still testifying before a German investigating magistrate as a «witness» to alleged instances of breach of faith and bribery involving other Siemens executives. Earlier this week, a prosecutor of Greece’s Supreme Court asked for the Siemens probe to be transferred from Nikos Zagorianos to a higher-ranking appeals court magistrate. According to sources, prosecutor Ioannis Tentes requested the transfer due to concerns about the direction the investigation has taken. CYPRUS PROBLEM Talks resume next week A new round of peace talks between Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias and Turkish-Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, originally scheduled to begin yesterday, will take place on September 10, Cyprus government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou said. Nicosia refused to attend yesterday’s talks after Cypriot pilgrims crossing into the Turkish-occupied north of the island to attend a religious festival were delayed at a border checkpoint. «Any reasonable person would understand that such an event, that charges the atmosphere and stirs feelings, does not create the best conditions for a meeting,» Stefanou said. Greek-American soldier US President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle have met with the parents of a 21-year-old US marine of Greek origin who was killed in action in Afghanistan while trying to help a fellow soldier, state channel ERT reported yesterday. Obama and the first lady visited the parents of Nikolaos Xiarhos at the US military base in Massachusetts where Xiarhos had served, the report said. Prostitution ring Trikala police said yesterday that they had broken up a prostitution ring, following the arrest of a foreign woman and her male Greek accomplice who are alleged to have peddled the sexual services of women and young girls to customers in the broader region. Warrants have also been issued for the arrest of another three suspects for the alleged sexual abuse of a female minor. Burglar attack A 41-year-old man from Toumba, Thessaloniki, was struck on the head with a screwdriver by one of two burglars he surprised upon returning home at 11.15 a.m. yesterday morning, police in the northern city said. The victim tried to block the burglars’ escape but one of them hit him before the pair fled. The injury was not believed to be serious. Staged robbery Police in Veria, northern Greece, have arrested a man who allegedly falsely claimed to be the victim of a car robbery on Wednesday. The 56-year-old suspect allegedly told police that two men had broken open the passenger door of his parked car and made off with a bag containing 35,000 euros. He claimed to have chased the men, one of whom he said had cut his hand with a knife. He later confessed to fabricating the story to justify a delayed payment to a business associate.