NEWS

In Brief

APPEALS CONTESTED

Court debates prosecutor’s case for reversing Samina, earthquake rulings A Supreme Court prosecutor’s appeals against judicial decisions relating to the Express Samina shipwreck and the collapse of an Athens apartment block during the 1999 earthquake were discussed yesterday by the court’s criminal section. The court’s decision is due to be made public later this month. Evangelos Kroustallakis earlier this week pressed for three men to be tried on criminal rather than misdemeanor charges over the collapse of a building which killed seven people and for the reversal of a panel’s decision reducing criminal charges faced by Samina crew members to misdemeanors. Eighty people died when the Samina sank off Paros in September 2000. TURKS HARASSED Turkish charges of harassment a red herring, air force says The Turkish military yesterday charged that two Greek fighter planes had harassed two Turkish F-4E jets east of Rhodes during a training exercise on Tuesday. Greece’s Air Force General Staff countered that the Turkish planes were being chased off after violating Greek national airspace. «We have warned authorities about the dangerous consequences of this harassment by Greek planes,» the Turkish military had earlier warned in a written statement. PESTICIDES DESTROYED 740 tons to go from factory site The destruction of 740 tons of dangerous pesticides at the Nova Diana former pesticide factory in western Thessaloniki is under way, Minister for Macedonia and Thrace Giorgos Paschalidis announced yesterday. «These 740 tons of dangerous pesticides have posed a constant threat to the health of residents of the broader Thessaloniki area for years,» Paschalidis said. November 17 The families of three Americans killed and one wounded by the November 17 terrorist organization informed investigating judge Leonidas Zervobeakos yesterday that they will be taking part in the trial as civil plaintiffs. Lawyer Ilias Anagnostopoulos is representing the families of George Tsantes, William Nordeen and Ronald Steward, who were killed, and Robert Judd, who was wounded. Roadworks Outbound traffic on the Attiki Odos will be suspended today and Monday from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. between the flyovers at Metamorphosis and Kymis Avenue due to roadworks. The same restrictions will apply to Athens-bound traffic on Tuesday and Wednesday. Conscript suicide A 20-year-old army conscript fatally shot himself using his father’s shotgun at his home in the northwestern town of Ioannina yesterday. Thomas Dafnis had been serving at the border town of Soufli in Evros. The reasons for his suicide are not known, police said. Vartholomaios Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios has criticized the Vatican over its decision to establish four Catholic bishoprics in Russia, the Russian Orthodox Church said yesterday. «I am deeply saddened by this ill-timed and arbitrary initiative by the Roman Catholic Church to create Catholic communities in Russia… without the former approval of the Orthodox Russian Church,» Vartholomaios wrote in a letter sent to Russian Patriarch Alexei II. Chrysostomos The Cypriot Health Ministry is to introduce a new regulation to ensure ailing Archbishop Chrysostomos is alone during his physiotherapy sessions following a complaint by Health Minister Frixos Savvides that relatives of the ailing prelate have been interfering with his team of medics, the Athens News Agency reported yesterday. Chrysostomos returned to Nicosia at the end of last month after spending five months in an Athens hospital where he was treated for head and vertebra fractures sustained following a fall in May. Marathon protests The construction of an Olympic rowing center at the site where the ancient Battle of Marathon was fought «constitutes a desecration of the historic site,» environmentalists charged yesterday in a letter to the Culture Ministry. The Panhellenic Network of Ecological Organizations added that an environmental project intended to be carried out alongside the works has not even begun.7Æ