A court procedure relating to sexual abuse of minors had to be adjourned in Limassol on Friday after defence layers voiced concerns for the safety of the suspects and themselves.
Tensions run high as four suspects, father 63, mother, 64, and two sons, 36 and 37, accused of sexually abusing several relatives when they were minors 20 years ago, appeared before the district court where the state filed a case against them.
The victims’ relatives shouted slogans inside the courthouse, prompting a police intervention.
The hearing was held in a different courtroom, which is accessible from the holding cells without going through the public halls.
However, the court decided to postpone the procedure until Tuesday after one of the defence lawyers raised concerns about the safety of his clients, and his own.
The suspects were arrested after one of the four victims reported the abuse, which allegedly took place between 1992 and 1999.
They allegedly to have sexually assaulted and abused three girls and a boy.
The victims are the children of the 64-year-old woman’s two brothers. The two girls – now 29 and 34 – are sisters to the boy – now 27 – while the fourth victim is the daughter of the second brother.
According reports, all four cousins are believed to have suffered sexual abuse at the hands of their aunt, uncle and their two sons.
They said they had kept their silence all these years for fear of not being believed. Prompted by her therapist, the 29-year-old woman reported the crime and the other three followed suit.
Outside the court, a group that calls itself Bikers Against Family Abuse, held a protest and handed out flyers.
Spokesperson Eleni Christou urged parents to talk to their children who may be going through a similar tragedy.
“We are here to support these people who are fighting for justice,” she said. “You may sleep well but your children could be going through the same suffering.”