NEWS

In Brief

Botched raid

Bullets from police gun killed passer-by, coroner rules Four bullets removed from the body of a 25-year-old plumber, who was killed in a shootout between police and two criminals in eastern Athens on Tuesday, had been fired from police guns, a coroner said yesterday. The source of another five bullets that hit Nikollas Todi, an ethnic Greek from Albania, is impossible to determine as these bullets did not remain in his body, the coroner said. The coroner’s report notes that it is likely all nine shots were fired from the same gun. Mayor resigns Denies corruption charges Giorgos Koutelakis, the mayor of Nea Smyrni in southern Athens, resigned yesterday after his name was connected to a scandal involving local soccer club Panionios, of which he used to be president. The scandal concerns irregularities regarding the club’s finances. Koutelakis refuted the charges and said he was resigning «with a clear conscience and the certainty of ultimate vindication.» Aspis indictment A prosecutor yesterday called for the president of the Aspis Pronia life insurance firm, Pavlos Psomiadis, to be indicted to trial on charges of supplying the company’s Greek creditors with a false 550-million-euro letter of guarantee from a British bank in order to keep his business afloat. Psomiadis was released from custody on 100,000 euros’ bail last November after defending himself before an investigating magistrate. Psomiadis, who has been banned from leaving the country pending his trial, denies that the letter was a forgery. Arms theft Police in Athens yesterday were investigating the theft of several guns and a significant amount of ammunition from a shooting club in the southern district of Kallithea. Unidentified robbers broke into the club and forced open the safes, removing six pistols, four revolvers and more than 9,000 rounds of ammunition. Pest crackdown Athens City Hall said yesterday it has launched a campaign to uproot trees in various parts of the capital that have been infested by a pest called the red palm weevil and to spray healthy trees at risk of infection by the insect. The pest is chiefly to be found in palm trees in the suburbs such as Elliniko, Glyfada and Vouliagmeni but has also infested trees in other parts of Attica. The red pine weevil poses the biggest global threat to palm trees. It thrives in the tree trunks, eating away at trees from the inside and causing their dehydration. Drug-stuffed toy A 35-year-old man and a 43-year-old woman stopped for a police inspection near the small town of Corinos, in Pieria, northern Greece, had been carrying nearly half a kilo of heroin in their car – concealed in a teddy bear, police said yesterday. Officers said a search of the car turned up the toy which was found to contain 476 grams of the drug. The pair are to face drug dealing charges.