A police officer working at the Ledra Palace checkpoint is facing a criminal prosecution for allegedly beating a Turkish man who was crossing to government controlled areas from the north, it emerged on Friday.
According to daily Phileleftheros, the incident took place on August 31.
The 58-year-old man from Turkey, currently living in Famagusta with his family, had crossed the checkpoint on a bicycle with a friend and did not stop for inspection as he wasn’t asked to and saw other people crossing without being stopped.
About 200 metres further along, the report said, the officer stopped him and asked him to return to the checkpoint, when the man tried to get away.
According to his testimony, the officer pushed him, throwing him to the ground.
The officer claims the man was the one who pushed him, and the two continued to fight in the office at the checkpoint.
A case was opened against the Turkish man for causing actual body harm to an officer and for resisting, as well as attacking, during arrest.
Nevertheless, a report was filed to the independent authority for the investigation of allegations and complaints against the police (IAIACAP), and the attorney general assigned an investigator to look into the claims, police told the Cyprus Mail.
According to Phileleftheros the investigator’s report said the Turkish man had bruises on his back that could only have been the result of the beating from an officer.
Statements from those involved were taken and a report was prepared by forensic expert Eleni Antoniou who examined the man.
The case is now expected to go before court as the investigator found there is enough ground for the police officer to face charges of causing actual body harm, attack and abuse of power.