In Brief


Court reduces sentence of man who beheaded his US girlfriend A seaman sentenced to life in jail for beheading his American girlfriend in January 1999 had his prison term reduced to 23 years yesterday by a court in Komotini. Giorgos Skiadopoulos, 28, now has the right to apply for early release in as little as five years, after the court recognized his remorse and noted his lack of prior convictions. Skiadopoulos, who strangled and then beheaded 31-year-old former model Julie Marie Scully three years ago, claims his actions were not premeditated but due to «jealous rage» because Scully had wanted to leave him. ISRAEL CONDEMNED ‘Brutal’ Gaza raids undermine peace process, Athens says Israel’s attack on Gaza on Monday constitutes a violation of international law and United Nations resolutions and undermines the Middle East peace process, the Foreign Ministry said yesterday in an official statement. «The brutal raid… cannot be justified as an attempt to suppress Palestinian terrorist organizations,» ministry spokesman Panayiotis Beglitis said. RUBBISH STRIKE Salonica’s stinking mounds grow Thessaloniki’s town council yesterday hired a private firm to spray disinfectant over heaps of rubbish left on the city streets due to a nine-day garbage collectors’ strike, set to continue through tomorrow. Strikers are seeking payment of productivity bonuses. Parliament late yesterday passed a motion for the strikers to get the money, committing itself to getting the government to pass a law if this is found irregular. Fire engine suit The family of a fireman killed in July 1999 when a fire engine fell into a Mt. Hymettus ravine above the Athens suburb of Voula is suing the manufacturer of the vehicle for 15 million euros after a report showed the brakes were faulty, reports said yesterday. The parents of Panayiotis Bosinas have lodged their suit against French vehicle manufacturer Renault and its subsidiary Kamiba. Price war Government figures made public on Monday showing hikes of up to 43 percent in the price of fresh produce since the launch of a street market strike «have no objectivity,» market producers and traders said yesterday. Traders, who launched a weeklong strike last Monday, claimed that more goods were sold, and at cheaper prices, when markets reopened after the action. Extortionist out Kickboxing champion Yiannis Aidiniotis was yesterday released from prison, having served just one-fifth of his sentence for a string of crimes including extortion, after an appeals court decided to excuse him as his mother is seriously ill. Aidiniotis had received a 14-year jail sentence about three years ago following his arrest in a Pangrati bar in the act of collecting a wad of marked notes. Courts closed Courts across the country close today ahead of Sunday’s municipal and prefectural elections, reopening on October 18 – or on October 24 in areas where a second round of voting will be necessary. Cruise ship aground A Greek cruise ship which crashed into a reef near the port of Patmos after trying to avoid a collision with a Turkish-flagged ship sustained minor damage, but none of the 788 passengers and 351-strong crew of the Olympic Voyager were reported to be injured. Ioannina quake An earthquake measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale shook the northern prefecture of Ioannina yesterday morning. The quake’s epicenter was 370 kilometers (231 miles) northwest of Athens, on the Albanian border north of Delvinaki. There were no reports of injuries or major damage.