Cyprus Mail
Cyprus

Relatives of Mari victims visit the president

The relatives of people killed in a 2011 naval base blast oppose granting a pardon to former defence minister Costas Papacostas who was jailed in connection with the incident.

The relatives met President Nicos Anastasiades on Friday to discuss their problems.

“I can only say that President Nicos Anastasiades has not disappointed us,” said Popi Christoforou, whose twin sons, both sailors aged 19, died in the July 11 blast at the Mari base.

Papacostas, 76, has requested a pardon citing his poor health. He has been in hospital since he was given a five year sentence in 2013 on charges of manslaughter for his role in the blast in which 13 sailors and firemen died.

Asked about the request, Christoforou “the only thing I can say is that a pardon is one thing, forgiveness is another.”

Christoforou wondered why Papacostas had asked for a pardon.

“For someone who is ill to come out of hospital?” she said. “The best place for someone who is ill is the hospital.”

Her husband Michalis criticised two MEPs – Eleni Theocharous and Takis Hadjigeorgiou — who supported granting a pardon, and DISY MP Andreas Themistocleous who spoke of the Christian faith.

“Where is the Christian faith and where is the dignity towards the relatives? This thing must be taken into serious consideration,” he said.

 



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