Any more involvement of the attorney general’s (AG) office on the case of Thanasis Nicolaou is unacceptable and unethical, lawyer for the national guardsman’s family Leto Cariolou charged on Sunday.

She called on the cabinet to appoint an independent investigative team to explore the “coverup behind Nicolaou’s death”, stressing neither police or the national guard should have a role in this.

Her statements to Reporter came at President Nikos Christodoulides said he had spoken to the AG and his deputy, who assured him they were studying Friday’s ruling over Nicolaou’s death.

Cariolou said the state prosecutor had “repeatedly supported the stance that the cause of death was a fall from a height, thus suicide.”

Nonetheless, Judge Doria Varoshiotou said the death inquiry had shown without a doubt that Nicolaou died as a result of violence and criminal activity. He was killed by strangulation.

Her ruling has overturned 19 years of persistence from Cypriot authorities, who insisted Nicolaou’s death was a suicide.

The judge also highlighted the state prosecutor’s stance and attitude throughout the proceedings.

Reading out her decision, she pointed out that that although the AG’s representative in court insisted throughout that Nicolaou died of suicide, the stance changed in the final arguments, when the state prosecutor called on the judge to leave the ruling as an ‘open’ cause of death.

Cariolou added “the strong criticism in the inquiry’s ruling towards the legal service is extremely important.”

She specified not only should the AG be kept out of any future proceedings, but also any members of the police or national guard that fall under the wing of the police chief and national guard chief.

“The family expects cabinet to appoint an independent investigative team to investigate the conditions of [Thanasis] Nicolaou’s murder, as well as the methodical coverup of the crime from members of the police and national guard.”

Cariolou said the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe will receive within days an update on the outcome of the death inquiry, the stance of the AG and his deputy, as well as the “serious issue of obstruction that arises.”

Earlier in the day, Christodoulides said the executive branch will move to examine why for 19 years the tragic case of Nicolaou’s death was not properly handled.

“Beyond the result [of Friday’s decision], we need to see why since 2005, 19 years, what should have been done may not have been done.”

Asked if cabinet would appoint an independent investigator, Christodoulides said “I do not rule anything out. It is tragic, 19 years.”