NEWS

In Brief

TERROR SUSPECTS

All 16 detainees will have to provide genetic material, judges decide All 16 suspected November 17 terrorists currently in Korydallos prison will have to provide DNA samples for comparison with forensic material found in two N17 hideouts located in July, the council of appeals court judges ruled yesterday, in response to a police demand. If they do not agree to cooperate, the suspects will be forced to do so. OLYMPIC AIRWAYS Airline chief expects 23.5-29.3 mln euros in 2002 operating profits Greece’s chronically ailing Olympic Airways state carrier will post operating profits of 23.5-29.3 million euros by the end of this year despite having lost 600,000 customers in the first eight months of the year, the company’s chairman and managing director claimed yesterday. Speaking to a parliamentary committee on state corporations and banks, Dionyssis Kalofonos asserted that the company’s second profitable year since 1978 (the other was in 1995) would be due to a 30-percent increase in ticket revenues, route cutbacks and better management of the company’s fleet. CARROTS FOR VOLUNTEERS New legislation targets conscripts Military conscripts who sign up as Olympic Games volunteers will be granted 20 days’ leave, while draft dodgers will get a year’s reprieve, according to a Defense Ministry initiative included in new sports legislation tabled in Parliament yesterday by Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos. The legislation, aimed at boosting preparations for Athens 2004 as well as tackling violence and corruption in sports, was debated by a cross-party sports affairs committee yesterday. Lesperoglou A police officer yesterday told an Athens appeals court that alleged left-wing terrorist Avraam Lesperoglou was indeed the assailant who shot at his colleague Giorgos Psaroudakis during a robbery in October 1982. Lesperoglou’s lawyer countered that policeman Christos Petrou had been unclear about the assailant’s features in previous testimonies. Lesperoglou, 48, was originally sentenced to 17 years in jail for Psaroudakis’s attempted murder before being acquitted on appeal. On Monday, he went on trial for the same crime for the third time. Yesterday evening, Thessaloniki anarchists staged a solidarity rally for him in the city center. Suicide attempt A 22-year-old army sergeant was recovering in hospital in Didymoteicho, Thrace, yesterday after having slit his wrists with a knife in his home in the border town of Soufli. Nikolaos Kortsalos was found in a pool of blood by his fellow soldiers, who went to find him after he failed to turn up at his unit. Back to school Thousands of pupils will return to school today to find all the textbooks they need waiting for them, the Education Ministry said yesterday while teachers reiterated their complaints about excessively large classes and staff shortages. The average class size in central Athenian districts is 35 pupils instead of the desirable 25, secondary school unionists said. Registration for successful university entrants begins next Monday, the Education Ministry said. Cypriot exercises The Cypriot National Guard will go ahead with its annual Nikiforos exercise in Cyprus irrespective of developments in ongoing negotiations aimed at reunifying the island, Cypriot Defense Minister Socrates Hasikos said yesterday. Hasikos did not confirm whether the Greek armed forces exercise Toxotis would run alongside Nikiforos, which is scheduled to take place from October 29 to November 3. Explosives trial A Kavala man from whose home police confiscated 68 sticks of dynamite, 27 detonators and other weapons yesterday received a suspended sentence of one year and three months in jail – suspended for three years. Giorgos Soufleris, 36, appealed against his sentence and was released yesterday. Abduction Police in the northern town of Kilkis yesterday arrested two Greeks and a Ukrainian charged with abducting a 25-year-pld waitress from a cafe-bar in the nearby town of Axioupolis last Sunday and demanding a $4,500 ransom from the bar owner for her return.