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Two remanded in connection with referee attacks (Updated)

By Constantinos Psillides

Two men from Nicosia, 22 and 24, were remanded on Thursday, each for four days in connection with two bomb attacks against referees.

They were arrested in their respective homes during early morning simultaneous raids.

According to police spokesman Andreas Angelides, the two suspects are believed to be part of the organisation ‘Thyraeniotes’, a reference to Thyra 9, or Gate 9 in English – the main fan group of Nicosia side Omonia – or armed urban guerrillas.

The group assumed the responsibility for the explosive devices placed on referee Vasilis Demetriou’s wife’s car on February 27, and at the referee association offices in October last year in a public proclamation on March 5.

This had been left at the steps of the old GSP stadium in Nicosia for MEGA TV reporter Panayiotis Demopoulos who had been contacted by an individual identifying himself only as member of the organisation, and he was given instructions on how to retrieve the proclamation.

Police found that the number belonged to a pre-paid phone card that was bought from a kiosk in the Pallouriotissa area of Nicosia, on March 3. CCTV cameras placed the 22-year-old at the kiosk the day the card was bought. The two suspects appear to have called each other on their mobiles that day.

Officers said they found a copy of the proclamation with notes in the 22-year-old’s house. During the raid at the 24-year-old’s house, police found a gas mask and a taser.

In the proclamation, the organisation had also declared war against corruption in Cypriot football. They also ranted against DISY politicians, Cyprus Football Federation chairman Kostakis Koutsokoumnis and the current management of the football club Omonia.

 

 

 

The suspects are facing charges of conspiracy to commit a felony, attempting to destroy property using an explosive device, and taking part in a criminal organisation.

 

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