Cyprus Mail

Cell beating officers plead not guilty

Screen grab of the Polis police officers hitting the suspect

Two police officers accused of beating a detainee inside a holding cell in Paphos in 2014 pleaded not guilty on Monday and the case was adjourned for next month.

The pair face three charges including causing grievous bodily harm, and humiliating and cruel treatment of an individual.

Their trial is scheduled to start on October 22.

They were released on a €30,000 bail.

The two had been recorded by a security camera inside a cell at Polis Chrysohous police station beating a detainee.

The video of the beating was published on social media in August.

It shows one officer beating a man repeatedly with a truncheon, beginning on camera and continuing off-camera for a longer period while another looks on but later joins in with a few kicks while the man is on the ground.

The footage was recorded on February 10, 2014 just before 11pm.

The clip starts with the man sitting in a cell when two policemen approach him. He is sprayed in the face with what appears to be pepper spray and backs into a corner whereupon they enter the cell and one policeman violently and repeatedly attacks him with a truncheon.

The man had been arrested earlier that day after resisting a body search and although nothing illegal was found on him, he was taken to Polis Chrysochous station and detained for assaulting police officers.

About four hours later he was denied medical care, without being allowed to contact a lawyer, he was led to the cell foyer and asked to hand over his personal items so they could lock him in a cell his lawyer said.

The man refused to co-operate and asked for medical care after which police tried to immobilise him using force.

He reacted and got into a fight with the two policemen. During the fracas, one officer hit him on the head and injured him.

At the same time, a penknife fell from the man’s pocket which he grabbed and used to attack one of the policemen. He then ran and locked himself in a cell, the same one the beating subsequently takes place in.

The man was charged for assaulting the police officers but the Criminal Court last week handed down an 18-month suspended sentence.



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