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Cyprus

Charge sheet on police officers filed at Paphos court

Justice minister Ionas Nicolaou

Charges against the two policemen who were caught on CCTV cameras brutally beating a 26-year-old man with a baton at the Polis Chrysochous police station in February 2014 were filed at the Paphos District Court on Wednesday.
The court ordered that the charge sheets be served to the two defendants on Wednesday, with the case due to be referred to the Criminal Court on Thursday.
Charges include aggravated battery, torturing, and intentionally causing bodily harm. The latter charge carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
Several other officers present that night are expected to face a disciplinary probe.
The case raised questions about the operation of the five-member independent police watchdog and the speed with which it investigated complaints.
Its findings were handed over a few days ago.
The authority’s members met Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou yesterday.
Nicolaou said they agreed that it would be useful to review the procedures and the way the authority operated.
The review will recommend ways to improve and make the authority more effective, the minister said.
Nicolaou said the authority’s workload had increased after it was decided that it would investigate all complaints against the police.
“This is an additional reason compelling us to examine ways to improve the authority’s operation and response,” the minister said.
Until 2013, the authority investigated around 150 cases a year. In 2014, the workload rose to 200, a number expected to be matched this year.
The minister said they wanted to put in place procedures that will “improve productivity and comprehensiveness of the investigation, including impartiality.”



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