Fifteen years after the mysterious death of a 26-year-old Greek Cypriot soldier, authorities have ordered the exhumation of his bones so that a new post-mortem examination takes place within this month.
This is what Philenews reported on Thursday, adding that late Thanasis Nicolaou’s family requested the new post mortem to be carried out by a coroner and anthropologist hired by them. And that Limassol district court on Wednesday issued an order for this to take place.
In September 2005, Nicolaou was performing his six-month compulsory military service and after overnight leave, he was due to return to camp.
However, the family were alerted that he had not returned and that his body was subsequently found under a bridge, not far from his parked car.
His family alleged that he had been killed by other soldiers, and police did initiate an investigation into the circumstances of Nicolaou’s death.
The first inquest, which took place before a district court, found that the conditions of his death were akin to suicide.
However, this finding was annulled following a certiorari application filed by Nicolaou’s mother.
The annulment was granted because the inquest had not provided grounds to conclude with a degree of certainty that Nicolaou’s death had been a suicide.
The death was then examined by a second investigator who concluded that Nicolaou had passed away due to wounds caused by a fall, thereby excluding any criminal act. After the second inquest, the case was archived.
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.