The Law Office is ready to order a new investigation – the third of a kind – in the case of a soldier with a disputed cause of death while serving his mandatory term back in 2005, Philenews reports.
New forensic evidence pointing to strangulation has emerged in the death of Thanasis Nicolaou who was said to have committed suicide while serving in Cyprus. Even though the family of then 26-year-old conscript kept insisting all along that the army had covered up a crime.
Philenews also reported on Wednesday that the Attorney General and his Deputy met with the soldier’s parents and their lawyers on Tuesday to exchange views on the next steps to be taken.
Insiders said the only concern of the Law Office is for truth to prevail and will do its best to safeguard the public’s best interests.
The family which demands that the culprits are exposed and punished never believed Thanasis had fallen off a bridge in Alassa, as was suggested by the army, police investigators and the coroner who carried out the post mortem.
After an exhumation order was granted by a Limassol district judge last December, forensic specialists representing the family requested additional tests be carried out in Greece on a specific piece of bone.
The Legal department initially refused to consent to any exhumed remains being sent abroad for specialized testing, but after persistence from the family and Greek experts, permission was finally granted for the hyoid bone to be flown to Athens.
Attorney Loukis Loucaides who represents the Nicolaou family has said that anatomic pathologist Demetra Karayianni examined a specific piece of bone and it was determined that the soldier’s cause of death was strangulation and not suicide.
In 2006 a year-long police investigation concluded that Nicolaou had fallen from a bridge 30 metres high and died, ruling out foul play.
A state forensic pathologist, who conducted the initial autopsy at the scene, had determined the cause of death was free fall and the manner of death was suicide.
But the family raised doubts over the investigation from the very beginning, maintaining all along that the young soldier was being bullied in the army and that military officers had not been honest about many issues in the case.
Back in January 2020, the European Court of Human Rights found the Republic of Cyprus in violation of human rights in connection with the case, prompting the mother to openly accuse the state of a cover-up and demand an exhumation a month later.