Cyprus Mail

Nicolaou’s lawyer urges Attorney General to send him investigation findings

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From Left Savvides, Matsas, Emilianides, Alexopoulos

The lawyer of national guardsman Thanasis Nicolaou, who was found dead under a bridge in Limassol 17 years ago, sent a letter to Attorney General George Savvides, urging him to send him the 92-page report compiled by investigators Savvas Matsas and Antonis Alexandropoulos.

Loukis Loukaides’ letter also called on Savvides to formulate a formal reply based on the findings, reports appeared in the media on Wednesday said.

Moreover, the lawyer hinted that the Attorney General did not adequately respond to Nicolaou’s family’s pleas for justice.

“Two letters have already been sent (to the Attorney General) urging for a final decision on the case following the investigators’ report,” the letter said.

“Legal obligations need to be respected in line with an earlier judgment by the European Court of Human Rights (Echr) which stated that Cypriot police had bungled the initial investigation into the young soldier’s death.

“On behalf of the family of the deceased, I ask you for the last time to send me the report and to take a decision on the case, otherwise we will be obliged to take other legal measures to ensure that justice is served,” the letter concluded.

Nicolaou’s mother Andriana has been unrelenting on the matter as she never believed the narrative that her son had committed suicide, instead pointing to fellow army mates as having bullied Nicolaou.

“My martyrdom has been vindicated,” the mother told the media shortly after criminal investigators recently stated that he had found evidence of criminal wrongdoing.

“For 17 years, they let the moral instigators and perpetrators of this crime roam free,” she added.

The mother also demanded that she be given the report, arguing that ultimately it had been thanks to her own efforts that the case was resurrected.

Savvas Matsas – one of the two criminal investigators who worked on the latest report – was asked whether criminal acts were committed in the case, to which he said: “That I can answer, yes.”

Asked, however, as to whether there is criminal liability – and if so against how many people – Matsas said that it is now up to the attorney-general to decide as to how to proceed.

“We have handed over our report, we have made some suggestions on this issue but for further details it is more appropriate to ask the attorney general,” Matsas said.

Citing sources, state broadcaster CyBC said the dossier points the finger at four individuals – three former police officers and a civilian. If accurate, this could relate to the earlier judgment by the Echr.

For their part, the attorney-general’s office stated later in the day that the next steps will include a review of the report by the legal services after which decisions will be made by the AG.

Savvides told reporters that: “As I have said, I wish we could turn back time 17 years so that a proper investigation could have been carried out when the events were more recent.”

The third investigation was launched after coroners in Athens examined the 26-year-old’s exhumed remains and separately concluded that Nicolaou was strangled, as his hyoid bone initially recorded as undamaged, was found to have been broken.

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