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Witnesses in Thanasis Nicolaou death inquiry to testify before Christmas

Thanasis Nicolaou

Dates were set on Friday for the testimony of witnesses in the investigation of the death of National Guardsman Thanasis Nicolaou, whose lifeless body was found under a bridge in Alassa in 2005, with the court looking forward to the completion of the whole process before Christmas, specifically on December 22.

Friday;s proceedings were rife with tension as Nicolaou’s parents expressed their strong displeasure with the representative of the Legal Service, who asked medical examiner Panikos Stavrianos to testify.

Stavrianos had ruled that Nicolaou’s death was due to suicide, which was overturned by the latest findings, after the exhumation of the national guardsman’s bones.

A request by Stavrianou’s lawyer to attend as an interested party, had been rejected in the previous proceedings.

The family’s new lawyer asked the Legal Service to state whether the new findings will be jointly accepted, so that experts do not need to be called from Greece, with the latter expressing the opposite opinion.

On trying to set dates for the proceedings to continue, the judge said that despite the workload, she is prioritsing the death inquiry, postponing other cases, and that she expects both sides to do the same.

The court gave time to both sides to contact the experts from Greece, in order to establish that they could be in Cyprus on specific dates to testify as witnesses.

The court heard that the former head of the Athens forensic service, Filippos Koutsaftis, due to his age, is unable to attend the proceedings, while for Professor Emmanuel Agapitos there will be relevant information after contacting him.

The family’s lawyer said that she wants pathologist Dimitra Karagianni and criminal investigator Savvas Matsas to testify.

It was decided that on December 4, the court recorder, the responsible police investigator and Dr. Marios Kariolou from the Institute of Neurology and Genetics will be called to testify.

Stavrianos will be called to testify on December 6 at the request of the legal service, with more requests to follow.

The intention of the court, as the judge mentioned, is to complete the whole process by December 22.

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