In Brief


Policeman who fatally shot youth to avert a robbery is remanded An Athens policeman who was charged last Friday with the murder of a young robbery suspect in Glyfada, southern Athens, was remanded in custody yesterday after appearing before a magistrate. Theodoros Katsas said he shot Anastassios Limouras in self defense when the 23-year-old and two other youths attacked him after he thwarted their attempt to rob a woman driver on Thursday night. Police have appealed for the driver of the Mercedes to come forward to testify in connection with the incident. The victim’s family maintain Katsas killed Limouras – who had a record for theft, robberies and drugs offences – in cold blood. NO STRIKE Court finds today’s planned action by Olympic pilots illegal Olympic Airways flights are to run as scheduled today after an Athens court yesterday deemed a scheduled three-hour work stoppage by pilots illegal. Pilots called the action last week in protest against a decision by OA management to suspend the ailing state carrier’s flights to Australia as of Friday. The Australian coordinator for the Council of Hellenes Abroad yesterday appealed to Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Magriotis and others representing Greeks living abroad to put pressure on Prime Minister Costas Simitis to reverse the decision. A delegation of Australian Greeks is due to fly in to Athens today to press for the service to continue. EXPLOSION DEATH Woman burned in boiler blast dies A 31-year-old woman severely burned in a boiler explosion in a village in northern Greece earlier this month died of her injuries yesterday. Zoi Besmeli sustained burns to most of her body when the boiler for a home heating system on a housing estate at Kato Nevrokopi, near Drama in eastern Macedonia, exploded during refueling on October 17, killing two people. The deputy mayor of Kato Nevrokopi yesterday appealed to residents of northern Greece to give blood for Sofia Karagiaouridou, 34 – also injured in the explosion – who is in critical condition. Crash verdict A National First Aid Center (EKAB) helicopter crash off the coast of Sounion last January – in which four crew members and a patient died – was due to adverse weather conditions and human error, according to the findings of a committee investigating the accident which were made public yesterday. The continuation of the flight at night and in stormy weather, the pilot’s failure to gauge the intensity of the weather conditions and subsequent disorientation probably caused the accident, the committee concluded. ND targeted A homemade explosive device planted at the offices of the opposition New Democracy party in the Athens district of Nea Smyrni caused minor damage early yesterday morning. No group had claimed responsibility by last night. Struck out A Patras court has given a five-month jail sentence, suspended for three years, to a candidate municipal councilor in Rio who was caught putting crosses beside her name on ballot papers in a Patras polling station during elections earlier this month, the daily Eleftherotypia reported yesterday. Eleni Besiri was found guilty of doctoring election results after polling station staff caught her scribbling on ballot papers with a cut-down pen, the paper said. Albanian murder Two Albanian youths, aged 16 and 15, have admitted to the fatal stabbing in central Athens of a 20-year-old Albanian national on Monday night, police said yesterday. One of the youths said he stabbed Julian Thano following an earlier altercation with the victim who had allegedly punched the youth. Anti-war rally A rally against possible US strikes against Iraq is to start at 6.30 p.m. tomorrow in Syntagma Square and will end in a march to the US Embassy, labor unions and peace groups said yesterday. PKK charge One of two alleged members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) charged by the German authorities with membership in a criminal group took part in the February 1999 occupation of the Greek Consulate in Dusseldorf, following the arrest of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, a German federal prosecutor said yesterday.