NEWS

In Brief

Collection crackdown

Archbishop wants clerics to come clean about finances Archbishop Ieronymos yesterday issued a strict message to priests who failed to submit reports regarding Church collections by a June deadline. According to sources, the archbishop also warned any clerics who have been accepting illicit payments that such practices would not be tolerated any longer. «All that is over. From now on, I will not tolerate any suspicion of mismanagement of funds,» Ieronymos said. According to the same sources, the archbishop sought the resignation of about 50 priests currently responsible for church collections because the churchmen in question had failed to submit their financial reports in time. Kidnappers traced Trio killed Cretan merchant Police on Crete yesterday detained a 33-year-old Greek and two Syrians, aged 15 and 26, alleged to be linked to the kidnapping of a 50-year-old local businessman whose charred remains were found near his home in Iraklio in May. According to police, Yiannis Kypriotakis’s kidnappers probably killed him after he recognized one of them. A few hours before police found Kypriotakis’s remains, the kidnappers had collected a ransom of 155,000 euros from the businessman’s wife. Officers found some of the pre-marked bills delivered to the kidnappers in May in a raid on the suspects’ homes. Monks convicted A misdemeanors court in Thessaloniki yesterday issued suspended jail sentences to 14 ultra-Orthodox monks who have been illegally occupying the Esphigmenou Monastery on Mount Athos since 2002 when they fell out with the Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarchate. The monks were issued with 1-year jail sentences, suspended for three years, after being found guilty of disturbing the peace. Two police officers, charged with breach of duty after allegedly allowing a vehicle carrying provisions for the rebel monks to cross into the monastic community, were exonerated due to a lack of incriminating evidence. Murder probe A 43-year-old ethnic Greek from the former Soviet Union is today to face an investigating magistrate in Veria, northern Greece, in connection with the murder of three of his compatriots in Xanthi, Thessaloniki and Imathia in the 1990s. The killings are attributed to disputes relating to the illegal trade in cigarettes and fur in which both the perpetrator and victims have been implicated. Store raid Two armed men held up a branch of the Vassilopoulos supermarket chain in the southern Athens district of Dafni yesterday afternoon, fleeing with an undetermined sum. The gunmen, who were both wearing masks, threatened cashiers into emptying their registers into large sacks which they carried off on foot. Deputy sick Deputy Merchant Marine Minister Panayiotis Kammenos was yesterday admitted to an Athens hospital with high fever. Doctors said they believed the fever had been provoked by a recent vaccination and said there was no cause for concern about Kammenos’s health.