The trial of two police officers accused of beating up a man at Polis Chrysochous station as seen in CCTV footage which went viral, was underway on Wednesday with the second suspect taking the stand.
Paphos criminal court watched the footage depicting the two suspects repeatedly beating the plaintiff Panagiotis Savvides in February 2014. The clip went viral in August 2015 after Savvides’ lawyer posted it on Facebook.
Andreas Hadjikyrou, representing prosecution said the plaintiff never looked at the officers in a threatening way or behaved vindictively.
The officer however countered that Savvides threatened them saying “he will slaughter us like the others.”
The ‘others’ he was referring to are two officers Savvides had been embroiled with prior to his arrest and had allegedly used a pen knife on them.
The suspect officer went on to say he and his colleague had calmly asked Savvides to hand over the knife and other items he had on him. However, he said Savvides continued to swear at them and curse their mothers.
The officer went on to say the mace used against Savvides before they entered the cell was expired and did not cause him any harm.
The prosecution nevertheless countered that Savvides, as seen on the video moved backwards after he was sprayed, a result of the reaction to the chemicals.
Hadjikyrou added that the two officers had deliberately gone to the cell to beat Savvides because of the previous incident during his arrest.
The second officer said both he and his colleague had acted within the law and they had been threatened, adding he was sorry about what happened and nothing was done out of malice or a show of power.
Hatdjikyrou said this did not reflect on the reality of the situation and was simply a lie so the officer could escape the consequences of his actions.
The suspect maintained he was telling the truth.
The case will resume again on April 5 at 9am.
Both officers are free on €30,000 bail each. They have surrendered their travel documents and they are banned from leaving the country.