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Greek Cypriot activist held in north finally released

Κατεχόμενα Ανδρέας Σουτζιής "Δικαστήριο"
Andreas Soudjis at a previous hearing

A Greek Cypriot who had been held for over a month in the north for possession of walkie-talkies and photos allegedly showing military installations, was finally released on Friday morning.

Reports said Andreas Soudjis was heading for Limassol to stay with his daughters.

Relatives and friends met Soudjis who travelled to the ‘police headquarters’ in Trikomo to reclaim his car and then crossed through Vrysoulles back to the south of the island.

The sentence imposed on him by the “military court” was excessive, Soudjis told reporters, saying the five photos in question were of the Varosha area but only depicted buildings and landscapes, such as a church and the house of a friend.

Soudjis’ mobile phone is still being held by the ‘police’ and he will receive it back on Saturday or Sunday through his Turkish-Cypriot lawyer. The walkie-talkie he was accused of using without a licence has been confiscated.

Soudjis thanked everyone for their support, especially his brother, and his Greek Cypriot as well as Turkish Cypriot friends who during his trial stood outside the ‘court’ to raise his spirits. He also thanked his lawyer, Ongel Polili, his fellow villagers from Lysi and the government for their help.

Asked about conditions and treatment he had endured, Soudjis said, “I didn’t suffer while in prison but for some reason they wanted to punish me.”

Soudjis has been banned from crossing into the  north but plans to appeal.

When asked what he had missed most during his imprisonment, Soudjis answered: “My daughters” and to a follow-up question asking if he missed something else, he added: “Pork souvlaki.”

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