Cyprus Mail

Thanasis’ mother demands justice over son’s death in Human Rights Day protest

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Thanasis' mother previously demonstrating outside the attorney-general's office

The mother of Thanasis Nicolaou, the former guardsman found dead in 2005, protested outside the attorney-general’s office on Saturday, two years after her son’s remains were exhumed for further investigation and on World Human Rights Day, over delays to bring anyone to face justice over the crime.

Thanasis was deemed a suicide in 2005, but after his remains were exhumed two years ago over suspicions of foul play, further autopsies showed he had been beaten and strangled.

In statements to CNA, his mother, Andriana, said that the day falls on World Human Rights Day, which she said have been trampled in the case of her son, as those that committed the crime have not been brought to justice, and the state has failed to support the soldier’s family in any way.

“The state should have been by our side from the beginning and supported us since our child was in the army and served the Republic of Cyprus. Instead of supporting and siding with us, they fought us. Seventeen whole years they forced us to accept that our child’s death was suicide,” she said.

At the protest, people from all over Cyprus took part, while banners were posted outside the attorney-general’s office.

Some read ‘Crime in plain sight, with no killers,’ ‘17 years of a covered-up crime…shame on you,’ ‘Enough of insults and wasting time,’ ‘We demand the punishment of the killers and the guilty,’ and ‘We demand accountability and justice.’

Commenting on statements from attorney-general George Savvides that patience is needed, and they must wait until the investigations are completed, she said: “Patience has its limits.”

At the protest, she demanded that the murderers of her son be brought before justice, along with anyone that covered up the incident.

Saying that it has now been scientifically proven that Thanasis was deliberately beaten and strangled, she said that “we cannot forget what they did for so many years,” calling for those responsible to be held accountable.

“It’s been two years now since the exhumation took place, no one has been arrested, no one has been punished, and they are beleaguering us and wasting time constantly. It is unacceptable.

“Investigations, findings, all this has killed us, patience has its limits, I’m very saddened,” she said.

She added that she is aware that the authorities are doing what they can but blame needs to be assigned to those that should have done their jobs right from the beginning.

“As long as no one is held accountable, Thanasis will not be vindicated,” she said.

She added that authorities already have inklings of who committed the crime, or else they wouldn’t be looking to track them down.

Savvides and Nicolaou’s mother met last October, when the former emphasised that the family and those tasked with the investigation were on the same page and that there was full and transparent cooperation.

Savvides also stated that during this process all parties should avoid making public statements, likely referencing previous comments by the mother and a former investigator. She said she had lost all faith in the authorities.

The attorney general also reiterated that the team tasked with the latest investigation had no connection to the Limassol police, who put together the bungled report, about Thanasis’ death 17 years ago.


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