News Local Supreme Court decision on 1999 police brutality case goes to attorney general

Supreme Court decision on 1999 police brutality case goes to attorney general

The independent committee charged with investigating complaints against police officers has asked the attorney general to consider appointing criminal investigators to probe the beating of a man in Limassol some 20 years ago, Phileleftheros reported on Monday.

The move follows a recent Supreme Court decision to award the man €456,000 in compensation.

The Supreme Court blamed police officers for the beating and the Commission has asked the attorney general to review the court decision and decide whether a criminal inquiry can be launched 20 years after the incident.

Phileleftheros notes that the offence cannot be written off, nor does the fact that some of those involved may now be private citizens change things.

What the attorney general’s office will examine is whether the events can be proven and evidence found for an offence committed 20 years ago.

In June, the Supreme Court ordered the state to pay €456,000 in compensation for a 1999 police brutality case when a 25 year old man was beaten by police in Limassol — first in Heroes Square and later at the police station.

The man, who was at the time married and with a child, worked for a private company during the day and in the evenings would play bouzouki at night clubs three times a week.

As a result of the beating, he suffered bruises, abrasions and developed psychological problems.

The case went to court which expressed its revulsion at the behaviour of the police officers and awarded compensation of €80,000 and another €60,000 for loss of future earnings.

The plaintiff appealed seeking higher compensation and was examined by a medical board which found that he suffered from psycho-traumatic stress as a result of the incident, had self-destructive tendencies and could no longer work. The family broke up and he isolated himself at home.

The Supreme Court increased the compensation to €346,000. It also awarded €30,000 in punitive damages, saying it wanted to show its abhorrence for such behaviour which had turned a healthy young man into a psychological wreck.

The total compensation is €456,000 which includes interest from 2009 when the suit was filed.

Police chief Kypros Michaelides has asked for a report on the case, Phileleftheros added.


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