NEWS

In Brief

NOVEMBER 17

Lawyers of two suspects resign after clients revise their defense The lawyers representing alleged November 17 terrorists Dionysis Georgiadis and Vassilis Tzortzatos resigned yesterday after their clients revised their defense. Georgiadis’s lawyer said his decision to quit had been provoked by his client’s decision to refute his original testimony (according to which he had not known he was part of N17 until he stumbled upon a proclamation in one of the group’s hideouts), following pressure from his co-defendants. Also yesterday, confessed N17 hitman Dimitris Koufodinas testified in response to additional charges for 13 attempted murders. Public Order Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis, leaving Washington yesterday, refused to comment on charges against suspect Yiannis Serifis, who has been named as a key founder of the group. GLYFADA SHOOTING Off-duty policeman wounds youth in the head after attempted robbery A young man was in the hospital with serious injuries yesterday after being shot in the head by an off-duty policeman who had tried to stop the youth and three others from robbing a car driver in Glyfada, southern Athens, police said yesterday. The unnamed officer reportedly saw the youths try to break the window of the car in an apparent attempt to rob the female driver and flashed his headlights to warn her after calling the police on his mobile phone. One of the youths then threw a stone at the officer’s car – breaking the windscreen – whereupon the officer fired his gun. The three other youths fled. PRIEST DEFROCKED Cleric censured for civil wedding The Church of Crete yesterday said it had defrocked a 67-year-old retired priest who married a 27-year-old single mother in a civil ceremony in Iraklion on Tuesday. «No Orthodox Church… will recognize the civil marriage of a cleric,» the bishop of Knossos commented. Manolis Papoutsakis, who wed Maria Levendi in the Iraklion Town Hall in full clerical garb, had said he would join the Russian Orthodox Church to get a church blessing. A delegation from the Church of Crete is to visit the town hall to complain about it hosting the wedding. Generals appeal Greek army chief Giorgos Antonakopoulos and his Turkish, Romanian and Bulgarian counterparts issued a joint statement yesterday from Sofia stressing the need for better international cooperation to fight terrorism, and condemning the detention of 700 hostages in a Moscow theater by Chechen rebels. Skull discovery Rafina port authorities yesterday recovered a human skull a few meters off the harbor after being alerted by a fisherman. The skull was attached to a brick by a piece of cable. Radar system The Cypriot government has decided to purchase for 3.5 million Cyprus pounds an Israeli coastal radar system whose chief purpose will be locating vessels carrying illegal immigrants, the Athens News Agency reported yesterday. Osteoporosis A total of 400,000 Greek women suffer from osteoporosis, while the number of fractures resulting from the illness has risen by about 15 percent over the past four years, experts told a scientific lecture in Thessaloniki yesterday. Around 176.1 million euros are spent on treating sufferers every year. Meanwhile, a conference in Thessaloniki yesterday was told that more than a million Greeks suffer from arthritis. Australian flights Olympic Airways’ air stewards are to strike in protest against the ailing carrier’s decision to cancel its flights to Australia from next month, the union representing the flight attendants said yesterday. Corruption A civil servant working at the Kallithea Police Department has been charged on multiple counts of fraud following his arrest on Wednesday, police said yesterday. The clerk, identified only as C.G., allegedly pocketed fees paid by citizens submitting documents for notarization with official police stamps and then neglected to add the stamps. Supermarket hours Supermarkets will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Monday to Friday and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday from November 4 when they switch to winter hours, supermarket owners said yesterday.