NEWS

In Brief

ELA acquittals

Ex-members of terrorist group cleared on appeal An Athens appeals court yesterday cleared three former members of the now defunct left-wing terrorist group Revolutionary Popular Struggle (ELA) of a series of attacks linked to the group between 1989 and 1995. Angeletos Kanas, Christos Tsigaridas and Irini Athanassaki, who had all been released pending appeal following their conviction in 2004, were finally cleared of involvement in a string of attacks, including a blast that killed a policeman in 1994. The court deemed that there was insufficient proof to implicate the three suspects, upholding their appeals. Abductor testimony Hostage taker to face justice A 55-year-old convicted kidnapper who walked into Thessaloniki’s German School on Wednesday with a bag of explosives is to face an investigating magistrate on Monday. Costas Arabatzis, who had staged a similar raid at the same school three years ago when he took the principal hostage, returned to the institution during a furlough. Police talked Arabatzis into giving himself up within three hours and without any injuries. The 55-year-old had taken three school officials hostage and demanded 10 million euros while threatening to set off 5 kilos of explosives. Villagers appeased Residents of the village of Akrini, in the northern prefecture of Kozani, yesterday stopped a weeklong blockade of the conveyor belts carrying lignite to the nearby Aghios Dimitrios power station in protest at the mounting pollution in the area. Protesters withdrew after a delegation of locals visiting Deputy Environment Minister Yiannis Maniatis in Athens expressed satisfaction with the talks. According to a local spokesman, Maniatis pledged to relocate the villagers to another area with lower pollution levels, satisfying longstanding requests by residents who complain of breathing difficulties and high rates of lung cancer. House fire A fire that broke out early yesterday in a house in the municipality of Kolymvari, in the Cretan prefecture of Hania, destroyed the building but caused no injuries, as one of the two children in the house woke their parents who called the fire brigade. Firemen managed to douse the fire before it could spread to adjacent buildings. The blaze reportedly started in the fireplace on the ground floor of the building. Weapons haul Police in Argos, in the Peloponnese, yesterday detained a foreign couple, whose age and ethnic origin was not revealed, after discovering a cache of weapons in their home. The cache included a gun, dozens of rounds of ammunition and a set of brass knuckles. Armed raid Two armed robbers made off with around 9,000 euros after holding up a branch of Marfin Bank in the western port of Patra yesterday. No one was hurt in the raid. The perpetrators, who were both wearing masks and helmets, fled on a scooter that had been parked outside the bank.