NEWS

In Brief

Bombs claimed

Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire behind three weekend attacks The Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire terror group claimed responsibility in a statement published on the Internet yesterday for a string of three bloodless bomb blasts over the weekend – one at the central Athens offices of Chryssi Avgi (Golden Dawn) on Friday morning, an explosion outside the Athens Aliens Bureau on Petrou Ralli Street on Saturday afternoon and a blast outside the home of a Pakistani community leader in the run-down district of Aghios Panteleimonas, near the city center, also on Saturday. In their statement on the indymedia.gr website, the group described the attacks as the first phase of a bombing campaign they had warned of after an explosion outside the Greek Parliament on January 9. OTTO Contract talks off until July The first talks between the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) and Greece soccer manager Otto Rehhagel yesterday about the renewal of the German’s contract for another two years bore no fruit, with Rehhagel asking for the issue to be discussed again after this summer’s World Cup, when the existing deal expires. Reports suggest EPO president Pilavios proposed a 30 percent pay cut for the new contract. The 72-year-old manager left the EPO headquarters without making any statements, while Pilavios said there was no talk of the new contract, which will be discussed in the future. Trial-fixing terms An Athens appeals court yesterday rejected appeals by a former judge and a businessman for the suspension of jail sentences they have been given for being members of a ring that fixed trials for financial reward. The former judge Evangelos Kalousis and the entrepreneur Yiannis Boletsis are each to be jailed for 15 years after being found guilty on charges of abuse of power and money laundering respectively. Road fatality A 17-year-old girl died in a hospital in Serres, northern Greece, late on Sunday after the car that she and a male companion had been traveling in veered off a country road outside the city and crashed into a wall. Residents who witnessed the accident called an ambulance but when it was late arriving they put the two youths in the back of a pick-up truck and drove them to the nearest hospital. The youth, who had been driving, was in a serious condition yesterday. Office targeted A suspected explosive device found outside the political office of Economy,Competitiveness and Merchant Marine Minister Louka Katseli in central Athens early yesterday afternoon was destroyed in a controlled explosion by members of the police’s bomb disposal squad. Police briefly cordoned off Sina Street, where the office is located. There were no indications about who planted the device. Cafe blast An explosion outside a cafe-bar in Aghia Paraskevi, northern Athens, early yesterday caused serious damage – smashing its windows and those of adjacent buildings – but no one was injured. According to police, who attributed the attack to a personal dispute, the blast was probably caused using dynamite.