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Man arrested after Ledra Street scuffles released pending April 9 hearing

Screen grab from video footage of the scuffles at Ledra street checkpoint

A 55-year-old man who was remanded on Sunday by the Nicosia district court after he admitted to pushing a national guardsman during scuffles at the Ledra Street crossing point on Saturday was released on bail Tuesday and will answer to the charges on April 9, police said.

The charges relate to harassment, assault and causing actual bodily harm, and resisting or obstructing a person assisting a law enforcement officer. In this instance a national guardsman helping to man the shuttered crossing.

The defendant’s lawyer requested time to examine testimony before his client responded to the charges against him. The court set the case for a response on April 9.

He was released after signing a €5,000 bail bond.

The alleged assault occurred during a protest on Saturday against the closure of four crossing points by the government over fears of the spread of Covid-19.

A man was seen in footage from the event pushing a national guardsman on duty at the scene. The 55-year-old in court however said he had not hit the soldier but had pushed him.

According to daily Politis, the man went under his own steam to the police on Saturday night and identified himself as the person in the video. He reportedly also said after he had shoved the soldier he approached him and apologised.

Politis also said the man claimed the video was being circulated for political reasons.

Police spokesman Christos Andreou told Cybc on Tuesday that footage from various sources was being examined, and witness statements being taken in connection with the violence that happened and did not rule out more arrests.

Police are also investigating whether a police officer hit a demonstrator.

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