The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a request by Cyprus’ longest serving lifer for his case to be considered by the parole board within reasonable time.
Panayiotis Kafkaris, 71, convicted to life in jail for the premeditated murder of a man and his two children, had requested to be released on parole for the first time in 2012 but his application was rejected. He appealed the decision and in February, 2015 the Supreme Court cancelled the parole board’s decision because it had not been examined properly and lacked justification.
The parole board reviewed the request and rejected it anew.
Kafkaris turned to the Supreme Court again, which cancelled the parole board’s decision for the second time for the same reasons.
The convict sought another review on April 3, 2017, but received no reply.
Last Friday, he filed yet another request, asking the Supreme Court for permission to apply for a preferential order asking the parole board to review his case within a specific timeframe or reasonable time.
In its decision, the Supreme Court expressed concern over the parole board’s delay, considering the inmate’s history. The court asked for a copy of the decision to be forwarded to the board without delay.
Kafkaris was convicted of killing businessman Panicos Michael, 45, and his two children aged 11 and 13, in Limassol in 1987. During his trial he said he had been paid CYP £10,000 (€17,000) to carry out the hit.
Kafkaris had placed a bomb under Michael’s vehicle, which he detonated, killing all three.
He has been fighting his imprisonment in a variety of legal ways including recourse to the European Court of Human Rights over the duration of his sentence.
At the time of his offence, life imprisonment in Cyprus was 20 years. However, in 1988, the Nicosia Criminal Court interpreted life imprisonment as meaning imprisonment for life.
Consequently, when passing sentence in 1989, the Limassol Criminal Court, relied on the 1988 findings of its counterpart in Nicosia.