Cyprus Mail

Thanasis’ mother accuses army officers of dealing drugs, being complicit in son’s death

Thanasis Nicolaou's parents at a previous demonstration

The mother of national guardsman Thanasis Nicolaou, whose lifeless body was found under a bridge in Alassa back in 2005, slammed the authorities on Facebook on Tuesday in a post directly accusing army officers of dealing drugs.

According to Andriana Nicolaou, her son’s death is linked to the fact that he discovered his superiors at the army camp dealing drugs while on duty.

“He was killed because he found out about drug trafficking at the camp run by officers,” she wrote on her Facebook profile.

“They shut his mouth so he wouldn’t talk about what he saw and knew. They killed a soldier who came from the other side of the earth, Australia, to voluntarily serve in Cyprus.”

Last February, Nicolaou’s family was told by the legal service that there are not enough grounds to open a criminal case into the guardsman’s death.

A lengthy investigative report into the murky case was first reviewed by Attorney-general Giorgos Savvides, before been handed to the family.

Nicolaou’s mother at the time said that the report will need to be studied carefully, before deciding what the next steps will be. She did not rule out legal action against the state.

The woman on Tuesday also accused the people in charge of filing and reviewing the report of voluntarily covering up its findings.

“Only accomplices of the murderers could cover up the crime for which the perpetrators remained unpunished for so many years,” she wrote.

“I sent my Thanasis to the army to serve mine and his own country and, if needed, he would have sacrificed his life for it! But not to lose it in time of peace at the dirty hands of his compatriots!

“Their (the authorities’) latest report is unacceptable, and ridiculous, and their findings are a mockery!

“They wrote so many lies and distortions, with so many falsification and slander just to justify their criminal acts. It is a disgrace!”

The official explanation for Nicolaou’s death is still suicide, a ruling that his mother had always rejected.

Savvides said the decision to task investigators with compiling a detailed report on the case was based on earlier inquests filed by two experts who had examined Nicolaou’s remains – after his mother won the right for his remains to be exhumed – and the findings of two previous inquests.

One of the two inquests was carried out by Greek pathologist Demetra Karayianni, who said she had found that the guardsman’ hyoid – a U shaped bone that supports the tongue – was fractured, and it had been inflicted before his death.

The pathologist added that the fracture could only have been caused by strangulation or hanging.

Aside from Alexandropoulos, Savvas Matsas was also nominated as an official investigator on the case. However, he was later removed from the probe by the AG for revealing details of the investigation to the media.

However, his and Alexandropoulos’ new findings were in line with an earlier judgement by the European Court of Human Rights (Echr) which stated that Cypriot police had bungled the initial investigation into the young soldier’s death.

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