NEWS

In Brief

Hania beating

Five Britons to be extradited for attack on countryman Five British men charged in connection with a violent attack on a fellow Briton outside a nightclub in the Cretan holiday resort of Malia in June 2008 have lost their legal battle against extradition, Agence France-Presse reported from London yesterday. The men, all in their early 20s, deny stabbing Robert Hughes with a broken bottle and stomping on his head. Defense lawyers claimed that Curtis Taylor, Daniel Bell, Sean Branton, George Hollands and Benjamin Herdman would face detention in terrible conditions if sent back to Greece, AFP reported. But Britain’s High Court ruled that the evidence presented to back up their claim was not strong enough to justify refusing their extradition to Greece. Smuggling crackdown Patra less busy, minister says Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis yesterday told President Karolos Papoulias that the government’s crackdown on people smugglers was bearing fruit, noting that fewer migrants were camping out at the western port of Patra in a bid to sneak aboard a boat to Italy. «We decided to close our exit to Western Europe to send a message to smugglers that they cannot use Greece as a route for people trafficking,» Chrysochoidis told the president on his return from a surprise visit to the port. Rape probes Police in the Cretan prefecture of Hania said yesterday that they had detained a 33-year-old Greek man and a 35-year-old Syrian man charged with raping a Norwegian tourist and a Polish local respectively. The 22-year-old Norwegian woman identified the 33-year-old as the man who took her for a ride on his motorcycle to a remote area of Hania where he allegedly raped her. The Polish woman, whose age was not revealed, told police that the Syrian national invited her to his home for dinner but wound up raping her. Heroin workshop A police raid on an apartment in Zografou, east of central Athens, yesterday turned up more than 5 kilograms of heroin and equipment believed to have been used to cut and package the drug for distribution. Officers detained a 24-year-old Palestinian, a 31-year-old Syrian and a 32-year-old Georgian believed to have been members of a ring trading in large quantities of drugs in Omonia Square, central Athens. Cyprus peace Cyprus President Dimitris Christofias and Dervis Eroglu, the recently elected leader of the Turkish-occupied north of Cyprus, yesterday discussed the issue of property, one of the most contentious aspects of the Cyprus problem. The United Nations special envoy to the divided island, Alexander Downer, said the UN was pleased to see talks continuing between the two leaders but did not give any details about the content of the discussion. Yogurt confiscated Piraeus prefectural authorities seized 163 kilos of yogurt from the Tzaneio Hospital after tests on a sample of the yogurt in its kitchen revealed high levels of bacteria. There were no reports of any instances of food poisoning.