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Cyprus

Prosecution granted extra time in police trial

Justice Minister Ionas Nicolou with former deputy police chief Andreas Kyriacou

 

The prosecution in the trial of former police deputy chief Andreas Kyriacou, dismissed for allegedly leaking classified internal police documents, on Wednesday was granted until September 20 to furnish the defence with earlier internal probes that found no evidence of the identity of the person behind the leaks.

In the last hearing in July, defence lawyer Andros Pelecanos asked that the prosecution share the two probes, as well as the full text of the investigation that led to his client facing trial.

New state prosecutors were only recently appointed and asked the court for additional time to address the defence’s requests.

Kyriacou faces three counts of violating his duty of secrecy and leaking classified information.

The charges relate to a tip regarding a planned murder, provided by the Serbian Interpol, which the local chapter botched when they tried to call what they thought was the Belgrade Interpol office, in fact alerting the suspected assassins themselves.

The story made headlines in local press.

In another instance, an internal report on preventing and tackling corruption in the police force, prepared in January 2015, ended up in the hands of Akel MP Irene Charalambidou, who was seen waving it in a House ethics committee session in June 2016.

Excerpts from this report, too, made its way to the press the next day.

The charge sheet was filed on May 30 and features a total of 27 witnesses, including Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou.

Kyriacou’s lawyer claims the Interpol story ran in the press before his client had received the report in June 2016, which would preclude him from being the leak.

An investigation conducted by three independent criminal investigators appointed by attorney-general Costas Clerides found that “the only person who could have leaked confidential and sensitive information from the Interpol file to the media was deputy police chief Andreas Kyriacou”.

When announcing the investigation’s findings last May, Clerides described how the report on the prevention and combating corruption in the police force, dated January 20, 2015, was seen in Charalambidou’s hands during the House committee session in June 2016.

“The next day, parts of the report were published in a daily newspaper,” he said.

“The body of direct and circumstantial evidence collected suggests that deputy police chief Andreas Kyriacou is involved in the leaking.”

Days later, Anastasiades fired Kyriacou, replacing him with Kypros Michaelides.


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