The man who was charged over slapping an airport employee and violating the airport’s smoke ban denied the accusations on Thursday and complained that it was the female worker who had assaulted him, resulting in abrasions and bruises to his face.
Police charged the 47-year-old man after a female airport employee filed a complaint saying he slapped her on the face when she told him off for lighting a cigarette while disembarking an aircraft at Larnaca airport in the early hours of Wednesday.
However, the suspect told the Cyprus News Agency on Thursday that later that day, he also filed a complaint with the police against the female airport employee, he reportedly said.
The man claimed that the incident took place about 15 metres from the PCR testing site at the airport and that he did not light a cigarette.
He also said that the woman came from his side and hit him but did not explain why.
According to the employee’s statement, the man lit up a cigarette while he was on the stairs getting off his plane and she asked him to stop smoking explaining there was a risk of ignition since the plane was refuelling at the time.
When the man refused and started yelling at the employee, she said that she grabbed the cigarette out of his mouth and put it out.
Then the man slapped the employee in the face and continued shouting while lighting a second cigarette, she told police.
The suspect said he expects police to assess CCTV material to determine what happened and expressed his disappointment that some media “misinterpreted the facts”.