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Chief orders investigation of traffic police

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Police chief Zacharias Chrystostomou ordered an administrative probe into a Limassol fatal road accident last May in which three people were killed, after the father of one of the victims reported that the Limassol traffic police botched up their investigation.

The chief ordered the probe after the father claimed the Limassol traffic police that investigated the accident, were responsible for delays, omissions and irregularities.

The crash on May 27 in the Polemidhia area of Limassol, killed Andreas Yiasemi and Demetris Savva, both 32, as well as Panayiotis Stefanou, 23, after the pick-up truck they were in was in a head-on collision with another pick-up truck driven by a 25-year-old man with a passenger, both of whom survived. Limassol police said the crash had been most violent and that at least one of the two vehicles was driven at very high speed, while one of the two ran a red light.

The 25-year-old denied failing to stop at the red light, and the case risks being dropped as police are having difficulty finding witnesses to say what really happened.

According to a report in Politis, Yiasemi’s father claimed that people, who witnessed the accident were threatened by the suspects – the 25-year-old driver and his passenger – and remained silent.

Yiasemi also charged that right after the accident, while the scene of the crash was cordoned off, a police officer allowed a relative of the 25-year-old driver to collect a number of “suspicious items,” from the car, reported Politis.

As to the traffic lights pole at the crash scene, the report said that instead of being kept by the Traffic Police as evidence, it was stored in the Limassol municipality’s warehouse without the necessary checks being carried out. As a result, Politis said, the red light that was installed on the pole is gone, thus, making it impossible to check the exact time it lit during the accident.

The case file, which includes the blood test results of the 25-year-old and will show whether he was driving under the influence of drugs, is to be delivered to the Attorney-general within the coming days. The 25-year-old, reportedly, had been arrested in the past for drug-related offences.

A breathalyser test given to the 25-year-old right after the accident gave a reading of 33mg, 11mg over the maximum allowed by law, while he was driving a car registered as immobilised since 2013.

The 25-year-old was sentenced to six months imprisonment last week for attacking and injuring a taxi driver in Yermasoyia, in Limassol, a few hours before the crash.

The court heard that the suspect had been driving at a slow speed and the taxi driver sounded his horn. This caused the 25-year-old to get out of his car and hit the taxi driver on his face and head through the open front window. During the trial, the taxi driver had asked for his complaint to be withdrawn.

 


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