By Angelos Anastasiou
Police on Saturday continued to investigate the alleged attacks on OSEL bus-company board chairman Iordanis Iordanous and two staff, but no arrests have yet been made.
On Friday, the three claim to have been assaulted and hit by a dozen people at the company’s Makedonitissa offices, while other claims suggest that they were the first to attack.
According to police spokesman Andreas Angelides, investigators are investigating two separate complaints, each regarding the instigator of the attack.
“Thus far, investigators have obtained statements from four individuals, out of six identified by the injured men as their attackers,” he said.
“It is expected that they will be charged and released, and we will continue investigating so that we can call the remaining two individuals.”
At the same time, he added, three of the people who arrived at OSEL’s Makedonitissa office also filed complaints, claiming they were attacked.
The three visited the Nicosia General and were found to have sustained injuries and bruises, resulting in the police investigating two cases so far, Angelides said.
The scuffle appears to be related to the long-standing conflict between Iordanous and OSEL shareholder Tasos Michaelides, who parked several OSEL buses outside the Presidential Palace and disrupted rural services for days last month, firing allegations of embezzlement and mismanagement.
On Friday night, police requested warrants for the arrest of six people, named as having been involved in the assault, but the court denied them, citing insufficient evidence.
OSEL, who pointed the finger squarely at Michaelides and his sons, called on police to arrest the “suspects” immediately.
“The incident took place on Friday afternoon, in broad daylight, and Tasos Michaelides and members of his family played a key part,” the company said in a statement.
“They barged into our offices, exercised violence, and left victims and serious damage behind them. Everything took place in front of eye-witnesses.”
According to CyBC, Iordanous was hit with a fire extinguisher.
OSEL repeated its demand for police protection on Saturday, noting that Iordanous “continues to be held for treatment, while one staff member may require an operation”.
Michaelides told the Cyprus Mail that the scuffles broke out when the dismissed staff members went to retrieve their personal belongings. “He [Iordanous] fired 12 people vindictively, without any reasons, just because they’re my relatives because they come from the same village as me,” Michaelides said.
“When the people who were laid off went to up to Iordanous and ask the reasons why they were laid off, two men who were with him, attacked them, and they reciprocated,” Michaelides said. He added that it was Iordanous’ party that attacked first.
“No matter what differences may exist between me and the company, they must not affect the employees,” Michaelides said, “Twelve families lost their livelihood out of spite”.
He said that the case is now being handled by the police.