NEWS

In Brief

TYCOON KIDNAPPING

Magistrate calls new suspects over Panagopoulos abduction Three new suspects have been called in for questioning in connection to the kidnapping of shipping magnate Pericles Panagopoulos, sources said yesterday. Magistrate Harikleia Iliopoulou has asked the three suspects, who were not named, to answer questions after gleaning information from secretly recorded mobile phone conversations. Panagopoulos was released after his family paid a ransom of 30 million euros. Iliopoulou also leads the investigation into the gang allegedly behind the kidnapping as well as a string of other crimes. She yesterday asked five of the 17 suspected gang members to give more information in connection to two bomb blasts this April, one in Glyfada, the other in Arta, northwest Greece. KIFISSIA RAID Armed robbery at jewelry store Two men conducted an armed raid at around 1 p.m. at a jewelry store in the northern Athens suburb of Kifissia yesterday. Police said the robbers threatened staff and smashed the shop’s display windows with sledgehammers. The value of the items stolen from the shop, on the corner of Levidou and Kolokotroni streets, was not immediately clear. Fire out Firefighters on the island of Evia said yesterday that they had contained a large forest fire that had broken out on Tuesday in the northwestern resort of Edipsos. The efforts of more than 230 firefighters, assisted by 53 fire engines and eight water-dropping aircraft, were hampered by strong winds but the blaze was reportedly under control by early yesterday afternoon. Earlier more than 400 tourists, mostly French nationals, were evacuated from their hotel after the blaze cut off road access to the building. Actor’s murder A court hearing the trial of a 40-year-old Georgian man charged with murdering popular actor Nikos Sergianopoulos in June 2008 will next week view closed-circuit television footage of the victim in a seaside cafe with a male companion. The court is also to hear the testimonies of two new witnesses – the tenant living in the apartment below that of Sergianopoulos in Pangrati and a pharmacologist who is to analyze the possible side effects of a drug, traces of which are alleged to have been identified during the actor’s autopsy. Parts gang Two members of a criminal ring believed to have stolen more than 21 trucks from different parts of Thessaloniki and to have sold their parts for profit were being questioned by police in the northern city yesterday. Police said they are seeking another three suspected members of the ring, including a 35-year-old Russian national thought to have been the one responsible for stealing the vehicles before handing them over to other ring members to be dismantled. Delta blues The Thessaloniki prosecutor’s office yesterday ordered an immediate investigation into allegations that someone has built a warehouse on protected land in a protected area in the Axios River delta. The warehouse is allegedly just over 1 hectare in size and has been built within the boundaries of the national park without permission. It was not made clear who owns the warehouse nor when it was built.