NEWS

In Brief

Oil exploitation – Cyprus, Syria and Egypt could complete discussions by 2002 Cyprus expects to complete discussions with Syria and Egypt on exploiting oil deposits and investigating natural gas reserves off the island’s southern coast by the end of the year, Commerce Minister Nikos Rolandis said yesterday after a meeting with the Egyptian ambassador to Nicosia. He said he would meet his colleagues from the other two countries in Cairo before year’s end. Rolandis added that Lebanon will also be invited to join the talks. Terrorism Greek- and Turkish-Cypriot parties unite to condemn attacks on USA Nine Cypriot political parties from both sides of the ceasefire line dividing the island joined voices yesterday to condemn the September attacks against the United States. (We) strongly condemn the recent terrorist attacks against the USA and international terrorism in general, the parties said in a joint communique, after meeting in the no-man’s land dividing Nicosia. The Slovak Embassy, which organizes regular meetings between the two sides, said it was planning another meeting for early November. Foiled TV crew arrested in airport Police guards at the old Athens airport at Hellenikon yesterday arrested two camera crew members and a journalist working for Alpha TV who had just cut through the airport perimeter fence and were filming. Paraschos Frangoulis, Constandinos Milovas and Georgios Paganias are believed to have been taking footage for a program on airport security. Illegal immigrants. A Rhodes coast guard patrol boat picked up 30 Iraqi Kurd illegal immigrants from the islet of Nimos early yesterday. Another patrol near the island of Kos found a boat with 16 illegal immigrants aboard, mostly from Sierra Leone. The skipper, Iraqi national Azat Baran, 17, was arrested. Meanwhile, the Turkish authorities intercepted a total of 220 people on their way to Europe, most of them yesterday, in various parts of the country, the Anatolia news agency reported yesterday. Kalambaka murder. Police in central Greece yesterday arrested a woman from the village of Asproklissia, near Kalambaka, on suspicion of having organized, together with her brother and her Albanian lover, the murder of her husband by the latter. Dimitrios Mokos, 41, was found buried in a ditch on Tuesday. He had been shot in the head. Detectives said yesterday that Isufi Gedian, 24, had killed him with a shotgun belonging to Constandinos Paliyiannis, 41, brother of Mokos’s widow, Artemis Paliyianni, 31. Plane down. An air force A7 Corsair crashed into uninhabited countryside four miles southeast of the Araxos air base in the Peloponnese yesterday, during a training flight. The elderly bomber’s pilot, Ioannis Christoloukas, ejected safely and has been taken to hospital for observation. He reportedly radioed that he was having engine trouble and could not return to base. No brutality. A Patras court yesterday acquitted the former police chief of Messolongi, Apostolos Tsikrikas, of having beaten up two Gypsy youths four years ago. The case was attended by representatives of the Greek branch of Helsinki Watch and the Roma Rights Organization, who say they will refer the case to the United Nations and the European Court of Justice. Ancient passion. Police have arrested retired civil engineer Ioannis Kazoleas, 81, after finding a valuable collection of 81 ancient clay objects dating from the 5th and 4th centuries BC in his home in Athens. Kazoleas, who did not have a license to possess the objects, said he had collected the items for his own personal satisfaction and not for sale. The public prosecutor allowed him to go free because of his advanced years. Expensive hobby. Two football pool agencies in Kavala, northern Greece, could be charged with leading a minor astray, after a 16-year-old boy ran up debts amounting to 37 million drachmas in the two agencies. The agencies’ owners, Costas Pechlivanis and Sotiria Kotsikari-Voutsa, went to the boy’s father to claim the amount owed but he refused. Neither has yet sued for payment, although the case is being monitored by the public prosecutor. The agencies were required to have the consent of the boy’s parents before letting him play.