NEWS

In Brief

Grigoropoulos killing

Court to decide on fate of two police officers today A court in Amfissa, central Greece, that has been hearing the trial of two policemen charged with the murder of 15-year-old Alexandros Grigoropoulos in Exarchia, central Athens, in December 2008, is today due to decide on the fate of the two officers. Epaminondas Korkoneas, who is alleged to have shot the teenager, faces life in prison if he is convicted on the murder charges he faces, while Vassilis Saraliotis, who had been on duty with Korkoneas at the time of the shooting, faces between 10 and 20 years in jail if convicted on charges of complicity. In August, the prosecutor involved in the trial proposed that Korkoneas be found guilty as charged, remarking that he saw no mitigating circumstances to warrant more lenient treatment. Cyprus maneuvers Gov’t cancels army exercise Cyprus Defense Minister Costas Papacostas said on Saturday that an annual military exercise had been canceled so as not to hamper ongoing talks aimed at reunifying the divided island. It is the third year in a row that Cyprus has called off the five-day exercise – scheduled to begin on October 19. Papacostas called on Turkey to respond by canceling military maneuvers that it carries out with Turkish Cypriots. In a a related development, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she would travel to Cyprus in January to see «if Germany can be helpful in overcoming the difficulties.» The Cyprus dispute remains a key obstruction to Turkey’s bid to join the European Union, a prospect strongly backed by Berlin. Xylokastro quake A moderate undersea quake, measuring 4.3 on the Richter scale, occurred just after 10 p.m. on Saturday off the coast of Xylokastro, a coastal town located between Corinth and Patra. There were no reports of any damage or injuries caused by the tremor, the epicenter of which was 13 kilometers below sea level. Fatal crash A motorist and his passenger were killed early yesterday when two cars collided on the Patra-Corinth national highway at the Rododafni junction near Aigio. The driver of the second car emerged from the wreck of his vehicle with minor injuries. There were no details about the identities of the victims or the circumstances of the crash. Gym fire Firemen yesterday evening managed to extinguish a blaze that had broken out at the municipal gymnasium in Vyronas, eastern Athens, earlier in the day. It remained unclear last night what had caused the fire which alarmed residents and prompted the local fire service to dispatch 10 fire engines to the scene. Columbus Day The United States Embassy in Athens, including the consular section, the US Consulate General in Thessaloniki and all US government offices in Greece will be closed today in observance of Columbus Day, a US national holiday, the embassy said in a statement.