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Cyprus

Report into police handling of serial killer victims to be handed to AG by end of January

The independent police watchdog will convey to the attorney-general its recommendations regarding a probe into the force’s handling of several disappearances of women who later turned out to be victims of a serial killer by the end of January, its head said on Monday.

Watchdog chairman Andreas Paschalides said they will send the AG the findings report along with the commission’s recommendation and a separate suggestion from him.

The 445-page report reportedly holds over a dozen officers culpable in the affair.

Paschalides said it would be premature to comment on the contents of the report before it was studied to determine whether the investigators’ recommendations were founded.

“And to dispel any misunderstanding, the investigators’ recommendations range between acquittal and guilt,” he said.

Paschalides said the commission’s position will be fair; whether it is liked or not was not a criterion for them, he added.

By the end of January, the AG will be receiving three recommendations: the report itself, one from the commission, and one from its chairman, Paschalides said.

Serial killer Nicos Metaxas, 35, claimed the lives of five women and two children aged six and eight, daughters of two of the women.

Two of his victims – Livia Florentina Bunea, 36, and her eight-year-old daughter Elena Natalia – had been reported as missing since September 2016.

The other victims were reported missing between December 2017 and July 2018.

A four-member team of investigators has been tasked with examining potential shortcomings in the way the force handled the missing persons reports, after they were widely criticised for not thoroughly investigating the cases.



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