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Cyprus

Soldier’s bones to be sent to Greece to check for foul play

The bridge Thanasis supposedly fell from

With the consent of the legal service, the Limassol court on Tuesday issued a ruling that some of the bones of national guardsman Thanasis Nicolaou could be sent to Athens for specialised examination to establish whether there was foul play at work in his 2005 death.

The examination aims to determine whether there are bruises on the bones and whether they were caused while the soldier was alive or after his death.

Nicolaou, who was 26 at the time, was found dead under a bridge in Alassa on September 29, 2005, about 12 kilometres from his home and barracks. He was meant to report back to his unit after an overnight leave.

His death had been ruled a suicide by authorities, a finding disputed by his family who have been fighting ever since to find out the truth, using their own money.

His remains were finally exhumed on December 16 last year and they have undergone forensic examination in Cyprus but certain parts of the bones need further investigations, which cannot be done on the island. Greek professor and former head of the Athens Forensic Medicine Service Philipos Koutsaftis was hired by the family to shed more light on the case.

Permission had first to be granted by the attorney-general’s office however and the court order was issued on Tuesday. The Athens lab has three months to do their work before the bones must be returned to Limassol police headquarters where the other remains are under guard, CNA reported.

The results of the Greek professor’s investigation will be communicated to the AG’s office and the family lawyer Christos Pourgourides who thanked the AG and the legal service for their positive attitude and cooperation, in the request for the transfer of the bones to Greece.

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