Police chief Kypros Michaelides confirmed on Monday that the attorney-general has ordered the prosecution of around 20 police officers over the way the force handled the victims of serial killer Nicos Metaxas.
The killer claimed the lives of five women and two children.
According to Alpha TV, Costas Clerides has given instructions for the prosecution of a double-digit number of police officers of various ranks. This concerns first responders who received the reports of the seven victims’ disappearances but also high-ranking officers who did not order further investigation of the cases. It reportedly concerns around 20 officers.
“I have been informed by the AG, he told me the file is ready for criminal prosecution,” Michaelides told Alpha TV on Monday evening on its main news programme.
“This saddens us, but we will fully respect the findings and the decision of the AG,” he said, adding that police would help so that responsibilities are attributed wherever they are found.
A four-member team of investigators had been tasked last year with examining potential shortcomings in the way the police force handled the missing persons reports, after they were widely criticised for not thoroughly investigating the cases.
The report was delivered to the Independent Authority for the Investigation and Claims and Complaints against the Police (AAIDIPA), which, in its turn, after studying the findings, sent it with their comments to the AG who had the final say.
Serial killer Metaxas, 35, claimed the lives of five women and two children aged six and eight, daughters of two of the women. The case emerged in April 2019 after the accidental discovery of a woman’s body inside a mine shaft in Mitsero.
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.