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AG’s office ‘ignoring’ ECHR rulings on Thanasis Nicolaou

thanasis nicolaou whose body was discovered in a ditch in 2005
Thanasis Nicolaou, whose body was found in a ditch in 2005. His mother has always claimed he was murdered

The judge hearing the inquiry over the death of national guardsman Thanasis Nicolaou reserved her judgement on Friday on whether a controversial report by forensic pathologist Panicos Stavrianos should be admitted to court.

Judge Doria Varoshiotou said she would announce her decision in the next hearing slated for next year, as she raised questions with the legal service’s insistence that Stavrianos’ 49-page report is accepted as part of the hearings.

The state prosecutor retorted that the ECHR identified shortcomings in how Nicolaou’s death in 2005 was investigated, but did not describe Stavrianos as corrupt or biased.

Stavrianos had ruled in 2005 that Nicolaou’s death was a suicide, but after his remains were exhumed, the pathologist’s findings were declared to be false. The family has always believed Nicolaou’s death was a murder and coverup.

Varoshiotou however pressed the prosecutor, asking whether the legal service believed the ECHR’s ruling found the investigations carried out by the police and Stavrianos as flawed.

To this, the prosecutor responded that even if that was the case, this does not deprive him of the right to give his testimony and be cross-examined.

The state prosecutor also added that the legal service’s role was helpful to the judge, as it aims to shed light on the cause of Nicolaou’s death.

Stavrianos was the only forensic pathologist who performed an autopsy at the scene and who conducted the autopsy, and later participated in the exhumation, examination, recording and evaluation of the skeletal injuries of Nicolaou, arguing that his testimony would be helpful in the court’s aim to uncover the guardsman’s cause of death.

The weight it decides to gives this report, is up to the court, the prosecutor underlined.

Last week’s trial where the report was discussed sparked outrage from Nicolaou’s family’s defence team, who said the legal service has been trying to cover up the death for the past 18 years.

Varoshiotou will announce her decision on January 5, while the hearing will continue on January 17, 18, 25 and 26.

 

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