An autopsy was carried out on Thursday on the body of a six-year-old boy who had died a day earlier after undergoing heart surgery at a private clinic in Nicosia.

The postmortem was carried out by two state-appointed forensic pathologists, a forensic pathologist from Greece representing the private clinic, and forensic pathologist Marios Matsakis on behalf of the family.

Tissue samples were taken from the child’s body for further specialised tests to determine the precise cause of death.

But Matsakis said his own preliminary finding was “surgical death.”

Speaking to the Cyprus Mail, the doctor said the six-year-old had congenital heart disease. The boy had been scheduled to be flown to Germany for the operation.

The child as well as his parents had already secured visas.

It’s understood the family is of Syrian nationality.

“But at the last minute the health ministry changed its mind, and decided the procedure would take place here.”

A surgeon and a team of specialists were brought in from Germany to perform the complex operation at the private Nicosia clinic.

Asked whether the ministry may have decided to keep the boy in Cyprus because the surgery couldn’t wait, Matsakis said no.

“Questions must be asked about why the ministry changed its mind.”

He added: “This was a complex procedure, and they have better infrastructure over in Germany. It’s not just a matter of the calibre of the doctors. The boy’s chances would have been better there.”

Matsakis said the family plan to sue the state.