NEWS

In Brief

SAMINA PLEA

Victim’s parents appeal to Supreme Court against dilution of charges The parents of one of the 80 victims of the September 2000 Express Samina ferry shipwreck off Paros yesterday lodged an appeal with the Supreme Court prosecutor against a recent ruling that transformed the charges faced by six members of the sunken Express Samina’s crew from felonies to misdemeanors. The appeal by the family of Stavroula Mitselou, which demands the resumption of criminal proceedings against the responsible Samina crew members, will be discussed by the Supreme Court’s criminal section. TURKISH PLANESPOTTER Bicycle-borne ‘spy’ given more time to prepare his defense A Lesvos magistrate yesterday granted more time to a 54-year-old Turkish man to prepare his defense against espionage charges following his arrest on Friday on the nearby island of Lemnos where he was allegedly photographing military installations. Murat Mehmet Pekinel, who insists the photos were for his own use, had already toured several islands by bicycle and had been due to visit Samothrace next, police said. Officers on Friday confiscated 57 rolls of film from Pekinel, who reportedly holds a temporary German passport. BUDGET MEETING Ministers want, PM won’t Tomorrow’s Cabinet meeting aimed at hammering out next year’s budget is likely to be a rocky one as Prime Minister Costas Simitis, Economy and Finance Minister Nikos Christodoulakis and Deputy Finance Minister Giorgos Floridis are expected to confront colleagues who are demanding increases of around 20 percent. But the funds needed for the Olympic Games and for funding the social security system, coupled with the international uncertainty over an impending war in Iraq, oblige the government to draw up a strict budget. Back-pat Athens Mayor Dimitris Avramopoulos yesterday announced his support for New Democracy’s candidate to succeed him in next month’s elections, praising himself as well as Dora Bakoyianni. «I feel obliged to stand by the person I would like to succeed me… so that they can continue the impressive progress achieved so far in Athens.» Avramopoulos, elected on the ND ticket, has been mayor for eight years. Internet briefing Internet cafe owners are to meet Development Minister Akis Tsochadzopoulos today to discuss the repercussions of a new law – twice this month ruled unconstitutional in court – banning the use of electronic games in public and private places, following a similar briefing at the Public Order Ministry yesterday. Spartathlon The 30th annual Spartathlon, a 246-kilometer (153-mile) race from Athens to Sparta along the route taken by a 5th-century BC Athenian messenger, will start on Friday with the participation of some 200 runners, organizers said yesterday. Homeward bound Cypriot Archbishop Chrysostomos, in an Athens hospital since sustaining head and vertebrae injuries in a fall in May, will be flown back to Nicosia on Thursday, doctors said yesterday. Chrysostomos, 75, will return to Cyprus, but not to his duties, Bishop Chrysostomos of Paphos said, adding that a medical council would determine whether and when the injured prelate would be able to resume his post. But a doctor who had sat on the archbishop’s previous medical council, Costas Pouyiouros, said elections for a successor to the archbishop had been set for November 10. Smugglers stopped Border guards in Thrace yesterday arrested three Poles trying to smuggle 25 Iraqi immigrants over the Evros River into Greece. Truckdriver Benedict-Vaclav Sitzi, 44, was arrested along with Slavomir Borisnionek, 51, and Zbigniew Tomaszewski, 39, who had gone ahead in a separate car (with no migrants) to throw border guards off their scent. The migrants were arrested. Doctors jailed An Athens court has given 30-month jail sentences to two obstetricians charged with the manslaughter of a 38-year-old teacher who developed a lethal brain tumor following an operation in December 1997, reports said yesterday. Emmanouil Kapetanakis and Spyros Melas claimed the tumor was not the result of their operation on Spyridoula Boli.