Former deputy police chief Andreas Kyriacou’s prosecution is politically motivated or carried out on “other orders”, his defence told Supreme Court on Monday.
Kyriacou faces three charges for his alleged involvement in the unauthorised leaking of confidential information, including a 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.
He was fired by President Nicos Anastasiades in May last year after Attorney-General Costas Clerides concluded Kyriacou was behind the leaks, following a probe carried out out by three independent criminal investigators.
Although the case is being tried at the Nicosia district court level, the supreme court has been called to make a decision on the premise set forth by Kyriacou’s defence lawyer Andros Pelecanos that the former deputy police chief is being prosecuted “on orders or based on political motives”.
If the court determines there is enough ground to argue such a premise, the prosecution will have to hand over the contents of the investigation to the defence.
Following the shooting of businessman Phanos Kalopsiditios, 51, who was killed in his Ayia Napa restaurant in 2016 along with three others, including a police sergeant, classified information concerning the handling of the case by police was leaked to the media.
During Monday’s court session Clerides, who is prosecuting said the suggestion by the defence that there were ulterior motives was “an offensive and unacceptable claim”.
Pending a decision by the supreme court, the case will continue at the district court on April 25.
Kyriacou has denied all charges.
He is accused of leaking to the media that Serbian Interpol had given their Cypriot counterparts a tip that an assassination attempt was going to take place against Kalopsidiotis, months before he was finally murdered.
The police officer in Cyprus who was dealing with the information from Serbia called the man believed to be the mastermind behind the contract killing, apparently thinking he was actually calling Serbian Interpol.
This alerted the man who called off the hit.
Kyriacou is also suspected of having 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.