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President urges police to prevent further ‘heinous’ actions after Sigma attack

The scene inside the Dias building on Monday

President Nicos Anastasiades on Monday gave strict instructions to the police to take additional measures to prevent future incidents similar to the previous night’s attack on Sigma’s offices.

The instructions were provided to police during a meeting at the presidential palace where Anastasiades was informed about the details of Sunday’s protest against the SafePass that led to an attack at Dias building which houses Sigma.

The meeting included Justice Minister Stefi Drakou and police chief Stelios Papatheodorou among others.

In a written statement after the meeting, government spokesman Marios Pelekanos said the president also expressed his sympathy to the 12 officers who were injured while on duty during the protest.

He asked for clarifications concerning the events and made some recommendations.

According to Pelekanos, the president said that “all the departments involved should boldly and resolutely perform, but also exhaust their police duties to deal with and combat such attacks.”

However, this should be done “within the limits set by law”, and with the aim of the proper functioning of the state that respects the freedom of expression, “as long as it is set within the constitutional limits for the protection of life, property, public health and respect for the rule of law in general.”

The statement added that police received strict instructions by the president about further actions to prevent similar “heinous” actions in the future.

Anastasiades also called on the heads of the competent departments to inform him about the operation and adequacy of their departments.

The meeting preceded the president’s visit at the Dias building, where he condemned the incident and said the state will stand by Sigma.

The attack took place around 9.30 pm on Sunday, when a group of protestors broke into the Dias group building that houses Sigma, attacked staff, set fire to cars in the parking lot and trashed the offices.

Twelve officers were injured, of whom seven received hospital care, including two who are in serious condition.

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