Cyprus Mail

Christofias moots Mari sabotage conspiracy

Smoke is seen in front of a damaged building by the power station in Mari on July 11, 2011 after huge explosions, reportedly from seized munitions, rocked the nearby Evangelos Florakis naval base

A MAN described as a scientist, Dr Takis Fellas, convinced Demetris Christofias that the July 2011 Mari explosion, which left 13 dead and dozens injured, was not an accident but an act of sabotage, the former president said in an interview with daily Phileleftheros on Wednesday.

This assertion follows earlier claims that the blast “may have” been the result of foul play.

“You want to say things that you can’t yet prove beyond reasonable doubt, and that is the hardest part,” Christofias told the paper, referring to the chapter on Mari in his recently-published autobiography.

“I want to cite the view expressed by Dr Takis Fellas during his presentation of my book in London. He is a man specialising on such matters. He said the incident was no accident. He believes there has been human intervention.”

In press reports, Fellas has been described as possessing “decades’ worth of research and scientific inventions, and a successful professional career in the magical world of space and satellites”. He is the CEO of London-based Hellenic TV cable channel.

In a 2014 interview, Fellas first presented his foul-play theory on the Mari explosion, saying gunpowder does not deflagrate at less than 319 degrees Celsius.

“All the physics I learnt over the last 35 years tells me that this scenario is just impossible,” Fellas said.

“It’s like claiming to have seen a winged donkey flying in the sky.”

Among several other hypotheses, Fellas claimed the explosion may have been caused by “foreign agents (Turkey, America, England, Israel, or even Syrian rebels)”, and that the technology exists for the blast to have been triggered by laser beams from space.

Demetris ChristofiasChristofias said he first heard Fellas’ theory in a TV interview he gave Aggil Loupescou, a self-described “parapsychologist” and “researcher in metaphysics” who claims to have “abilities in telepathy, intuition, and insightfulness”.

“We then met each other and he laid out in detail the view that a random explosion and a self-ignited fire cannot happen at 4am, with the humidity and the fog,” Christofias said.

Denying that he failed to apologise to the families of the victims, the former president stood firmly by his view that he was advised by the military’s top brass that the containers could have been stored “even outside the Presidential Palace”.

“But they were turned into prosecution witnesses,” Christofias said.

In response to harsh criticism against him for trying to escape his own responsibilities and have them pinned on anyone else, found in the recently-published autobiography by Costas Papacostas, former Akel deputy and Defence minister under Christofias until his resignation over Mari, the former president once more resorted to questioning the premise.

“I don’t know whether everything asserted in any given page of the book has been written by Costas himself,” Christofias said, implying that members of the former minister’s family – some very vocal against him – may have padded the original writing.

“He had a grievance and we talked about it. But to have written that I betrayed my friends and so on, I don’t accept it. The book was published after Costas’ death. I will honour him despite all that is said.”

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