NEWS

In Brief

GANGLAND MURDER

Victim and killers were wrangling over protection rights, police say A Thessaloniki man fatally shot outside a nightclub in the city center on Monday morning had tried to muscle in on the protection racket run by his murderers, police said yesterday after arresting two men in connection with the attack. Nikolaos Panayiotis, 31, has been charged with murder and illegal weapon use while Pavlos Papadopoulos, 41, has been charged with being an accessory to the murder of Constantinos Koutsomytis. The latter had offered his services to a nightclub his two attackers were already providing protection for. RACIST’S APPEAL Tensions high in court as Kazakos seeks reduction of two life sentences A man who went on a racially motivated shooting rampage three years ago faced some of his victims in an Athens court yesterday – one of whom tried to attack him – as his appeal began. Pantelis Kazakos, 27, has appealed for a reduction in his two life sentences and 25-year jail sentence for murdering two migrants – a Kurd and a Georgian – and wounding seven other foreigners in October 1999. Five of Kazakos’s victims are wheelchair-bound as a result of the attacks. Protesters are demanding the State compensate Kazakos’s victims. A ruling is not expected before tomorrow. MARBLES MANUSCRIPT Greek buys Adair letter to Elgin An 1811 draft letter from the British ambassador to Constantinople, Robert Adair, informing Lord Elgin that the Turkish authorities had denied he had any right to the sculptures he removed from the Acropolis, was bought for 8,000 pounds sterling (12,800 euros) by an anonymous Greek telephone bidder at a British auction yesterday. Judges needed More administrative court judges are needed to cope with a backlog of 160,000 cases that will take six or seven years to resolve, the association of administrative court judges said yesterday. The association, which says the backlog is due to cases being continually referred to it by the Council of State, have pressed Justice Minister Philippos Petsalnikos to increase the number of full-time positions for administrative judges. Death at the border An Iranian immigrant died of exposure in the arms of her husband on Tuesday after a long trek across the Turkish border into Greece through cold and rain, police said yesterday. Unable to believe his wife was dead, her husband carried the body of the 32-year-old woman, who had been dressed in summer clothes, wrapped in a plastic bag to a roadside, where motorists saw them and called the police. The man was hospitalized suffering from hypothermia and shock. Train accident A 41-year-old Greek woman is among the 12 people who died early yesterday when a fire ravaged the sleeping car of a train passing through eastern France on its way from Paris to the south German city of Munich, according to French railway firm SNCF. Marina Ioannatou and the other 11 victims appear to have died from asphyxiation. Air force memorial Deputy Defense Minister Lazaros Lotidis yesterday declared as an official memorial site the location on Mount Othrys, in the prefecture of Magnesia, where 63 air force servicemen died in February 1991 when their military transport aircraft crashed in bad weather. The air force has built a small church and monument, bearing the names of the dead, on the 4,500-square-meter site – which will be expropriated – the ministry said. Zakynthos quake An undersea quake, measuring 5 on the Richter scale, occurred off the northern coast of Zakynthos yesterday morning. There were no reports of injuries or damage. Fuel prices A third of the country’s gas stations sell petrol at unjustifiably high prices, the Development Ministry said yesterday. A list of petrol prices can be found on the ministry’s website (www.ypan.gr). Tuberculosis The entire crew of the military frigate Kountouriotis were yesterday subjected to medical checks after one crew member was diagnosed with tuberculosis, the navy said.