Cyprus Mail

Protestors demand return of soldier’s death investigator

thanasis mother
Protestors hold up photos of Andriana Nicolaou, the mother of the dead soldier (Christos Theodorides)

Supporters of the mother of Thanasis Nicolaou, the conscript whose death 17 years ago was this year linked to murder, gathered outside the legal service on Saturday afternoon to demand the return of a dismissed investigator into the case.

Savvas Matsas was removed by the attorney general George Savvides earlier this month after he revealed details of the third investigation to the media. He alluded to a cover-up, saying original evidence was ignored after the 26-year-old national guardsman was found dead under Alassa bridge. It was then deemed to be a suicide.

Many demonstrators on Saturday held photos of the mother’s face, Andriana, who has since been fighting to prove her son was killed, insisting people in the national guard were bullying him.

Placards demanding justice for Thanasis and denouncing bureaucracy and corruption were also placed on the fence of the legal service public offices.

“We will not stop until justice is brought for the conscript,” a placard read.

In her speech at the protest, Andriana, still dressed in black, thanked everyone for coming from various parts of the island to support her plight for justice “which concerns everyone”.

She said she will continue to push for the punishment of those guilty for the death of her son and those who helped cover it up.

Matsas, who was working together with another investigator, Antonis Alexopoulos, said he was sad but not surprised by the decision to remove him.

He said that the statements he made about manslaughter and responsibility were nothing more than what was stated in the European Court of Human Rights decision two years ago. The European court ruled in 2020 that the domestic authorities failed to carry out an effective investigation into the circumstances surrounding Nicolaou’s death.

Apart from the return of Matsas, the mother of the dead conscript has been requesting to receive the full report of the two investigators, something not typically done for ongoing investigations.

However, the mother said that she cannot trust anyone anymore, which is why she wants Matsas back in the team.

Meanwhile, a lawsuit filed six years ago by Nicolaou’s family before the completion of the second investigation into his death is still pending, with a hearing scheduled this Thursday, Philenews reported.


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