Cyprus Mail

Extra police guard for Disy leader, Christofias still has 12

Former president Demetris Christofias

Ruling Disy chief Averof Neophytou has added one more guard to his security detail, bringing the total to eight, according to reports, citing a recent cabinet decision.

Daily Politis said the cabinet recently decided to grant Neophytou one more bodyguard, raising their number to eight, as many as those afforded to Akel chief Andros Kyprianou.

There was also a proposal to raise Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou’s number of bodyguards to four, from three but it was scrapped after his resignation over the serial killings. All other ministers have two.

Nicolaou and the dismissed police chief Zacharias Chrysostomou will be given two guards each for a few months and then the matter will be revisited.

Former president Demetris Christofias continues to have a security detail of 12 officers.

Recent figures were not immediately available although until mid-2016, a total of 51 police officers were paid to guard party heads and former state officials.

Christofias had 12 policemen guarding him since then because, as it was said at the time, the threat to his life by individuals or groups continued to exist.

Averof Neophytou, Andros Kyprianou and Nicolas Papadopoulos, leaders of Disy, Akel and Diko, respectively, had six guards each, with former House president Vassos Lyssarides trailing them with five.

Edek leader Marinos Sizopoulos has been assigned four policemen for his protection, whereas former president Giorgos Vassiliou has a detail of three men.

Demetris Syllouris – formerly head of Evroko – and Nicos Koutsou – formerly head of Neoi Orizontes – had two officers each, as do the Citizens’ Alliance head Giorgos Lillikas and former House president Marios Garoyian.

Syllouris has since been elected House president while Koutsou did not run for re-election. Syllouris’ predecessor, Yiannakis Omirou, had a nine-person security detail.

Far right Elam and Solidarity have also been granted two to three officers each since then.

Former House president Alexis Galanos, now the mayor of Famagusta, as well as Mimi Kyprianou, widow of former president Spyros Kyprianou, had a one-man protection detail.

Although entitled to a police guard as a former First Lady, Fotini Papadopoulou, widow of former president Tassos Papadopoulos, has waived the right.

Green Party chairman Giorgos Perdikis, had also waived his right to two policemen protecting him, instead pocketing a monthly €1,000.

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