NEWS

In Brief

GANG OF 16

Lawyer linked to large crime syndicate released from custody The lawyer of Panayiotis Vlastos, the alleged mastermind of the so-called «Gang of 16» which is accused of carrying out kidnappings and contract killings, was granted conditional release yesterday following six months in custody. Elisavet Pouliou, who is charged with aiding and abetting the group of criminals, was released after posting bail of 10,000 euros and agreeing not to leave the country and to visit her local police station regularly. Pouliou has denied the charges leveled against her, claiming that excerpts from secretly recorded conversations with her client had been misinterpreted. BUS ACCIDENT Coach overturns near Lamia An intercity bus en route to Athens from Lamia overturned yesterday a few kilometers outside the central town, leaving two passengers seriously hurt and another 10 with minor injuries. The remaining 33 passengers on the bus were unharmed. The bus had been traveling on a diversion route, between the villages of Damasta and Irakleia, when it overturned. Arms cache Police on Crete yesterday detained two farmers from the prefecture of Rethymno after finding large caches of weapons and explosives hidden in and around their homes. Officers confiscated a submachine gun, two Kalashnikov assault rifles, three pistols, a revolver, a shotgun, two anti-aircraft missiles, 7 kilograms of dynamite and two detonators after searches of the two men’s homes and storehouses. It was unclear whether the two suspects are related to or acquainted with one another. Haiti account The Interior Ministry has set up a bank account at the Bank of Greece where citizens can make donations to victims of Tuesday’s earthquake in Haiti in which thousands are thought to have died. The number of the account is 2341131478 and the IBAN number GR8701000230000002341131478. Christofias visit Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias is due in Athens for talks today with Prime Minister George Papandreou. Christofias is also due to unveil tomorrow a village that has been rebuilt in Artemida, near Zacharo in the Peloponnese, with funding donated by the Cypriot government, after it was razed by devastating wildfires in the summer of 2007. Bomb hoax An Athens court had to be evacuated for the third time this week following a bomb threat yesterday. An anonymous caller phoned authorities at 9 a.m. to warn that two explosive devices had been placed at the main Athens appeals court. No bomb was found on the premises. Burned corpse Firefighters called to put out a fire that had broken out in a car parked in a field between Kalyvia and Lagonissi, southeast of Athens, found a burned body in the vehicle. Authorities had not established the identity of the person, nor the cause of the fire, by last night. Murder trial The trial of a 36-year-old music teacher charged with murdering his wife in September 2008 and burying her in a park in the northern Athens suburb of Filothei began at an Athens court yesterday.