Cyprus Mail

Police officer suspected of leaking log entry to media in murder-suicide case

Police on Friday confirmed reports than an officer was being investigated for leaking sensitive case information to the media in a murder-suicide that happened in June this year.

Although the police would not get into details, the report they confirmed, published in Phileleftheros, said the leak was related to a log-book entry recorded days prior to an incident in June when a man murdered his estranged partner with a hunting rifle and then took his own life.

The father of the person who carried out the attack had warned the police two days prior to the incident that his son was unstable. He told them his son left the house with his hunting rifle and had told his mother that he would commit suicide due to issues with his partner.

Later that day, the father told police that his son had returned home. The police logbook noted, “In view of the above, the case is closed”.

Two days later, when the murder-suicide took place, local news reports ran the headline: “Criminal negligence – Case closed” using information from the police log. The reports also focused on the fact that despite prior warnings the police did not make moves to confiscate the hunting rifle.

Further investigations then focused securing a search warrant to find evidence against the officer they suspected was the leaker.

The search warrant was executed at a Nicosia police station where he was working. During the search, police seized electronic devices and were investigating abuse of power and breach of professional secrecy.

An investigation into the computer system revealed that the suspected police officer had allegedly accessed the incident log which he leaked. The search had occurred prior to publication by the media.

The suspected officer appealed to the supreme court against the search warrant but the top court said it found no reason to invalidate it.

As noted in the supreme court ruling: “According to police investigations, the data led to the Ayios Dhometios police station – where he was working and the computers he was using. This information was in itself sufficient to lead to reasonable suspicion and that the devices he was using be seized.”

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