Four ex-airline officials plead not guilty to manslaughter Four former airline officials yesterday pleaded not guilty to the the manslaughter of 121 passengers and crew of a Cypriot aircraft that crashed northeast of Athens in August 2005. The defendants, all former officials of Helios Airways, each face multiple charges of manslaughter and causing death through recklessness. The Helios Airways plane crashed in the area of Grammatiko on its way to Prague from the Cypriot port of Larnaca. An investigation indicated that a lack of oxygen knocked virtually all passengers and crew of the Boeing 737-300 flight unconscious just minutes after takeoff. Balcony falls One boy safe, another critical A 3-year-old boy who fell off the balcony of a first-floor apartment in Kamatero, on the island of Salamina, off the Attica coast, yesterday lunchtime was said to be in a serious condition in the Aglaia Kyriakou Children’s Hospital. Earlier yesterday another boy, also aged 3, reportedly fell from the balcony of a second-floor apartment in Keratsini, near Piraeus. He was reportedly sent home a few hours later after doctors put a few stitches in a gash in his head. Road fatalities Four people died and a fifth was seriously injured yesterday when the car in which they were traveling veered out of its lane and into an oncoming truck on the national road linking Thessaloniki to Serres. According to police in Serres, the four people killed and the casualty were all aged under 30. The driver of the truck escaped unscathed from the collision, which is believed to have occurred due to a slippery road surface. Anti-trafficking drive Alternate Interior Minister Christos Markoyiannakis yesterday stressed the importance of greater cooperation between countries in which human traffickers are known to be operating. «The isolated efforts of individual states are not enough; international cooperation is necessary,» Markoyiannakis told a meeting of experts in the field in Hania, Crete. Siemens probe The plenary session of the Council of Appeals Court Judges yesterday approved a proposal by Supreme Court prosecutor Yiannis Tentes for the ongoing investigation into the Siemens bribery scandal to be transferred from Nikos Zagorianos, the magistrate who has been in charge of the case for the past year, to a higher-ranking appeals court magistrate. Maria Nikolakea is to take over from Zagorianos as investigating magistrate. The transfer was sought due to concerns about Zagorianos’s handling of the case. Drug haul Police in Athens yesterday detained two Albanians, aged 26 and 41, after a raid on their home unearthed a large quantity of drugs. Officers seized more than 45,000 ecstasy tablets, 7 kilos of cannabis, half a kilo of cocaine and weighing scales. House fire Firemen in Thessaloniki yesterday recovered the charred remains of a man from a second-floor apartment in the city’s Finika district. The blaze, whose cause was unclear, totally destroyed the apartment though firefighters managed to extinguish it before it spread to adjacent apartments.