News Local Another postponement to disputed death of soldier case

Another postponement to disputed death of soldier case

The Cyprus Law Office has until Tuesday to take a final stand on the request by the family of a soldier whose death is disputed for a specific exhumed bone to be transferred to Greece for specialised forensic tests.

A prosecutor on Thursday told Limassol court which is hearing the case they needed more time before this decision can be taken.

They had originally objected to the request of the family of late Thanasis Nicolaou arguing that the Republic has a certified, highly-qualified laboratory that can carry out such tests.

And that the Republic will cover all expenses for this, plus those of a scientist from abroad hired by the family to come over and carry it out.

The family’s lawyer insisted on this request during Thursday’s court hearing.

Nicolaou was 26 when he was found dead in 2005 under a bridge while serving his army sentence.

His family never believed he had committed suicide as was insinuated by army and police authorities at the time of his death.

Last month, additional tests on some of the bones were requested by professor and former head of the Athens Forensic Medicine Service Filippos Koutsaftis who came to Cyprus at the family’s request.

The family believes he was bullied, beaten to death and then thrown off the bridge of Alassa in Nicosia where his body was subsequently found, not far from his parked car.

A court order, approved by the Law Office, paved the way in December for the exhumation of his bones and for a new post mortem examination to take place.

This time, by coroners assigned by both the state and the distraught family.

The family took Cyprus before the European Court of Human Rights in 2010 on the grounds that the investigation into their son’s death was incomplete and insufficient.

The ECHR sentenced Cyprus for the death of Nicolaou on January 28, this year, after accepting the family’s claim that authorities had failed to conduct sufficient investigations into his death.

 

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