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Criminal case filed against former deputy police chief

A criminal case against former deputy police chief Andreas Kyriacou was filed on Tuesday at the Nicosia district court over an alleged leak of classified information to the press.

The proceeding is set to begin on July 3 before the Nicosia Criminal Court.

Kyriacou was fired some two weeks ago by President Nicos Anastasiades after Attorney-General Costas Clerides announced he appeared to have been behind the unauthorised leaking of confidential information, including the tip from Serbian Interpol of a foiled assassination attempt, and the likely leaker of a 2015 internal police report on preventing and combating corruption to an MP and the press.

The government had said that as the deputy chief cannot be suspended until the end of a trial, the president had no other choice but to fire him.

According to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) the charge sheet filed to court includes three charges; for breach of confidentiality in relation to the contents of the Interpol Nicosia case, and for the dissemination and leakage of classified information in connection with the contents of the Interpol Nicosia files. The third charge concerns breach of confidentiality in relation to a January 2015 study on the prevention and handling of corruption in the Cyprus Police.

The indictment, CNA reported, includes 27 prosecution witnesses, including Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou.

Clerides drew his conclusions after reading the results of the probe carried out by three independent criminal investigators on the possible involvement of police officers in cases of corruption or graft. The investigation was prompted by a letter by Police Chief Zacharias Chrysostomou laying out evidence gathered in the process of investigating the quadruple murder in Ayia Napa last June, in which a police sergeant was one of the victims.

Following the shooting, classified information concerning the handling of the case by police was leaked to the media. According to the probe results, the only person that could have leaked that classified information, contained in a file of Nicosia Interpol, to the media was Kyriacou.

Kyriacou, according to the conclusions of the investigation, is also suspected to have been the leaker of the 2015 report which had been classified as a service document and was intended only for internal police use. A copy of the report was presented last June however by an MP at the House ethics committee while the next day parts of it were published in a newspaper.

Anastasiades had said that even though the alleged offences are not deemed as corruption offences, he had to dismiss Kyriacou for reasons of public interest.

Kyriacou had said he would fight the case in court.

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