In the ongoing investigation around the death of National Guard officer Thanasis Nicolaou, whose lifeless body was found under a bridge in Alassa in 2005, his family is in search of a new lawyer after their current attorney, Loukis Loukaides, expressed his intention to withdraw from the case due to health reasons.

Loukaides conveyed his decision during proceedings at the Limassol district court on Friday, prompting the court to reschedule the hearing for November 24 at 11pm.

The court’s decision granted the family the opportunity to secure legal representation before the next phase of the inquiry.

In a related development, the court dismissed the request of forensic pathologist Panicos Stavrianou to attend the proceedings as an interested party.

The court ruled that Stavrianou would be summoned at a later stage to provide testimony but would not participate in the death inquest.

Friday’s court session was also expected to include the scheduling of future proceedings in the death inquiry.

However, Loukaides’ decision to withdraw altered the course of events. The court, acknowledging the need for the family to appoint a new attorney, set November 24 as the next hearing date.

During the next hearing, the new counsel for the family is anticipated to be present, and the scheduling of future death inquest proceedings will likely take place.

Last month, the new judge on the case, who was appointed following the recusal of the former judge at Nicolaou’s family’s behest, said that she intends to have a speedy trial for the case.

It was also agreed that the process should continue from where it had stopped, that is, based on the new data created after the exhumation of the bones of Thanasis – in 2020 – which led to the conclusion that his death, on September 29, 2005, was due to a criminal act and not to suicide.