NEWS

In Brief

ROAD WORTHINESS

Tougher measures, greater incentives in new KTEO test Motorcycles will be tested for noise pollution in the new roadworthiness (KTEO) tests envisioned in a draft bill presented to a parliamentary committee by Transport Minister Dimitris Reppas yesterday. The bill lays out a set of measures aimed at making the KTEO tests tougher and giving drivers incentives to submit their cars for inspection. Currently, one in three cars in Greece is not tested regularly. Reppas said that the legislation would also create, for the first time, a national road safety council. On another issue, he also revealed that judges have given authorities the right to remove illegal billboards from private property, such as apartment blocks and plots of land. CRIME SYNDICATE Twenty suspects to go on trial A total of 20 people are to stand trial for their alleged participation in the so-called «crime syndicate,» a criminal gang that allegedly carried out a series of murders, bombings and other illegal activity, including the abduction in 2007 of shipping magnate Periklis Panagopoulos. A council of appeals court judges decide yesterday that all 20, 13 of whom are already in jail for other crimes, should go on trial but that six should be tried for Panagopoulos’s kidnapping. Panayiotis Vlastos, an inmate, is alleged to have been the ringleader of the gang. Gang of killers Police yesterday arrested a 22-year-old Albanian man and a Romanian woman of the same age in connection with a bloody turf war over the narcotics trade in 2008 which resulted in 11 murders and 13 attempted murders. In a raid on the man’s home in Kolonos, central Athens, detectives found weapons and drug-related paraphernalia, as well as evidence that he was involved, along with two other suspects who remain at large, of carrying out nine robberies on jewelry stores around Athens and making away with loot worth over 500,000 euros. Virus death A 19th person who contracted the West Nile virus has died, authorities said yesterday. The latest victim of the disease, which is transmitted by a particular type of mosquito, was an elderly person, health officials said, without giving any further details. The virus has afflicted a total of 191 people so far but 139 of these have been discharged from the hospital. Authorities in northern Greece continued ground-level anti-mosquito spraying yesterday. Alonissos robbery A man who has not been identified turned himself into police yesterday, claiming that he took part in the attempt last month to steal 1 million euros in cash from the National Bank on the island of Alonissos. One suspect, a 38-year-old convict, has already been arrested in connection to the botched robbery. A third suspect is being sought. Hospital fire A 34-year-old woman being treated in the psychiatric ward at Evangelismos Hospital, in central Athens, sustained serious injuries after a fire broke out yesterday in the isolation room in which she was being kept. An investigation into the cause of the blaze has not ruled out the possibility that the young woman may have started it herself.