The European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday found the Republic of Cyprus guilty in the case of Athanasios Nicolaou who was found dead while performing his six-month compulsory military service back in 2005.
This is what a press release from the Strasbourg-based Court said, adding that the Republic has to pay €32,000 euros in compensation for non-pecuniary damage to the Limassol-based applicants. That is, Nicolaou’s parents and three siblings.
“The Court dealt with the complaint under the investigation obligation of Article 2 (right to life) of the European Convention on Human Rights,” it also said.
The 26-year-old’s body was found under a bridge, not far from his parked car, after his family were alerted that he had not returned to camp after an overnight leave.
His family alleged that he had been killed by other soldiers, even though the initial police investigation concluded in June 2006 that he had fallen from the bridge and died. It excluded any criminal act.
The authorities also carried out a military investigation, two inquests, an investigation on behalf of the Council of Ministers, and a second police investigation, which ended in June 2018.
The Attorney General concluded in September 2018 that it was not possible to secure evidence to show that his death had been the result of a criminal act.
The applicants complained that the investigation into Nicolaou’s death had been inadequate.