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Cyprus

AG asked to clarify request in Mari case

THE CABINET has asked the attorney-general to clarify his request for disciplinary action against officials who participated in discussions on the munitions containers stored at Mari naval base.

Attorney-general, Petros Clerides, has asked the ministries of justice and defence and the cabinet to take disciplinary action on four high-ranking state officials in relation to their role in the events leading to the Mari munitions’ blast two years ago.

The four officials are diplomat Leonidas Pantelides, who headed the president’s diplomatic office at the time of the blast; the justice ministry’s permanent secretary Christos Malikkides; Lieutenant Colonel Giorgos Georgiou; and fire services’ official Leonidas Leonidou.

The foreign ministry said on Monday it had prepared a draft document recalling Pantelides a day before a court decision was out, with the final proposal received by the cabinet’s secretary on July 11, and approved a week later.

They were disputing daily newspaper Politis’ suggestion Pantelides was being recalled in relation to possible disciplinary action.

A report by daily newspaper Politis – which a source has confirmed is accurate – said Clerides’ request follows a court’s observation regarding the four individuals.

The court found Pantelides’ statement non-credible, Malikkides’ statement skewed, Georgiou’s disingenuous, whereas the court raised questions over Leonidou’s “avoidance of describing gunpowder as an explosive.”

Earlier this month, Larnaca criminal court found former defence minister Costas Papacostas guilty of manslaughter for the death of the 13 people who were killed from the blast. Three top fire service officials were found guilty of causing death through a reckless and dangerous act. The court acquitted former foreign minister Marcos Kyprianou and deputy national guard commander Savvas Argyrou.

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