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Police to conduct risk assessment after pathologist in soldier’s death raises safety concerns

thanasis nicolaou report
Savvas Matsas handing the report to Attorney-general Giorgos Savvides last month (Christos Theodorides)

Police are to carry out a risk assessment on security issues to his person, raised by state medical examiner Panicos Stavrianos in connection with the death of national guardsman Thanasis Nicolaou.

Stavrianos was the state pathologist who ruled the death a suicide in 2005 after Nicolaou was found under a bridge in Alassa.

However, the latest independent report into his death found evidence of criminality, plus omissions and mistakes. The report was handed to the attorney-general earlier this month.

Following the latest revelations, Stavrianos wrote a letter through his lawyers to the AG, the justice minister and the chief of police expressing concern over ‘trial by media’ and by the two investigators, in relation to his conclusions in the case.

The letter was provided to Phileleftheros.

According to CNA on Wednesday, police confirmed they would carry out a risk assessment on the issues raised by Stavrianos, one of which was fears for his physical safety.

“On the basis of this report, a risk assessment will be made by the police risk assessment committee to see, based on the testimony we have and the data, if any measures should be taken for Mr Stavrianos and what they will be, if such a decision is made,” spokesman Christos Andreou said.

With reference to the actual conclusions into the death of Nicolaou, Andreou said that the police were waiting for the attorney-general.

Phileleftheros reported on Wednesday that Stavrianos raises the issue of being put on trial in the media and that he was being “judged and sentenced” before being heard by the courts. The criminal investigators had also publicly condemned him, the letter said.

One of the investigators, Savvas Matsas said on Sunday during a memorial for Nicolaou that there had been “so many mistakes, so many omissions, so many distortions of the real facts”, so serious that he had never come across them throughout his whole career.

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