News Local Police dismiss criticism over court's decision not to remand 'spy van' suspects

Police dismiss criticism over court’s decision not to remand ‘spy van’ suspects

Police on Friday dismissed criticism that investigations into the ‘spy van’ case were politically motivated and said these will continue in the same responsible, serious and professional way as they have been carried out so far.

The response came hours after a Larnaca district court rejected their request for three Cypriots arrested in connection with the controversial case to be remanded in custody.

And after Wispear – the Israeli company which owns the van – accused them of going on a fishing expedition just to satisfy opposition Akel party leader Andros Kyprianou and branding the investigation a sham and a charade.

However, police said in a written statement: “It is not the first time that a Court decides there is no ground for suspects to be remanded without this meaning that there is no ground for investigations to continue.”

“As for references to political party or other interferences these are categorically denied,” added the statement.

The three, two men and one woman, were arrested on Thursday. Police said they were investigating 13 offences — among them conspiracy to commit a crime, offences in relation to the Privacy Act, Protection of Individuals against the Processing of Personal Data, Securing Registration through False Representations, and violation of Radio Communication laws.

They were taken to court on Friday morning where police asked they be remanded in custody for eight days.

Their lawyer Andros Pelekanos objected arguing that Wispear had kept Cypriot police authorities informed at all times about the van.

He said that police officers had actually been in the van and not, as he said ‘in order to check the weather’.

He accused police of acting out of ulterior motives, noting that police were informed about the activities of the van since August 2019 but only took action in November 2019 after the issue was raised by Akel.

Each time the van was moved, this was with the permission of authorities he added.

The court rejected the police request and the three were released.

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