NEWS

In Brief

ZENITH RETURNING

Cruise liner told protests will not stop it docking The firm that manages the Zenith, a Malta-flagged cruise liner which was forced to remain moored at the port of Piraeus at the end of April when protesting seamen barred 970 tourists from reboarding, has said the vessel will sail in to Piraeus this Monday after receiving assurances from the government that it will have no problems docking. The Citizens’ Protection Ministry has assured the Zenith’s managers that its arrival will not be impeded by members of the Panhellenic Seamen’s Federation (PNO), who have said they will prevent the vessel from docking. The seamen object to draft legislation that foresees the lifting of cabotage rules to allow vessels that do not fly a European Union country flag to moor at Greek ports. SYMEOU BAILED Briton released pending trial Andrew Symeou, a Briton who has spent almost a year in custody in Greece over accusations that he caused the death of another tourist on Zakynthos is to be released on bail after prosecution witnesses from the UK failed to appear in court for his trial yesterday. The judge decided there had been a breakdown in communication with the Foreign Ministry and that the summonses were not communicated properly to the witnesses. Symeou was extradited to Greece last July over the death of 18-year-old Jonathan Hiles in a Zakynthos nightclub in July 2007. Hiles was punched and then hit his head after falling off a dance stage. He died two days later. Symeou denies any involvement. He is expected to leave Korydallos Prison early next week. It is not known when his trial will be held. Lawyers strike Lawyers are to stage two 48-hour strikes over the next two weeks to protest the impact of new tax measures and imminent changes to the pension system, the coordinating committee representing all the country’s bar associations said yesterday. The action is scheduled for June 7 and 8 and June 16 and 17. Policemen attacked A group of policemen were set upon by around 45 villagers in Anogeia, Crete, yesterday when they burst into a house in the area to investigate the source of gunshots heard. The villagers beat the policemen, using sticks and iron bars, leaving some of the officers with significant injuries. The assailants fled after the scuffles but police said that at least six of them are known offenders and would be traced. Family poisoned A family of four in a village near Thessaloniki has been discharged from the hospital after being admitted on Wednesday with symptoms of food poisoning when they ate a toxic plant mixed in with their salad greens. According to doctors, the family had eaten datura, or jimson weed, leaves along with other greens. Local initiative Municipal officials and residents of Kaisariani, eastern Athens, yesterday took it upon themselves to try and demolish a building on the local firing range believed to have been illegally constructed but were stopped by police before they could proceed. Police officers and a prosecutor intervened to ensure that a court ruling, suspending the demolition of the construction, was adhered to.