A 20-year-old man was sentenced this week to four months in prison with a three-year suspension and ordered to pay a €1,000 fine after admitting his participation in the 2015 student attack against vehicles belonging to Turkish Cypriots.
Eleven more defendants who pleaded not guilty will be referred to trial.
According to the daily Politis, the 20-year-old was found guilty of causing real bodily harm, property damage, unrest and cultivating a spirit of intolerance.
Such actions, the court said, cannot be justified on the pretext of patriotism, or the struggle against the Turkish occupation. On the contrary, it said, they undermine the constitutional structure of the state.
Patriotism, the court said, is exhibited by a productive contribution to social structures and not through acts of violence and intolerance. The court said that it took into consideration that the defendant was a minor at the time, his clean criminal record, that he has expressed remorse and that he agreed to testify as a prosecution witness.
The attacks took place on November 16, 2015 during a student protest against the anniversary of the Unilateral Declaration of Independence in the north (UDI). Students attacked three cars with Turkish Cypriot plates on three different occasions, which led to the injury of two Turkish Cypriots. The three cars were also damaged.