President Nikos Christodoulides on Wednesday said two independent criminal investigators will be appointed to shed light on national guardsman Thanasis Nicolaou’s case after an inquiry into his death ruled on Friday that he was killed by strangulation, and did not commit suicide, as it was previously established.

Retired Greek police lieutenant Lambros Pappas had been appointed by the government to aid in the independent criminal investigation into the case alongside lawyer Thanasis Athanasiou.

Christodoulides was speaking during a Council of Ministers session, where he stressed that his administration has been in contact with the guardsman’s family for the past months.

“We have been in contact with the family and offered them financial support,” he said. “Today, we will take the political decision of appointing two independent criminal investigators who will look into all the facts that took place in the past 19 years, from 2005 [when Nicolaou was found dead under a bridge in Alassa] to 2024.

“For 19 years, it seems that there were things that were not properly investigated.”

Christodoulides then pointed out that the decision to appoint the independent investigators should not be seen as though the government is taking a stand on the case.

“We do not take a position, we are not experts, and we cannot do that,” he said. “That is why today we are making the political decision to appoint two independent criminal investigators who will thoroughly look into the issue.”

Speaking to the media later on Wednesday, Nicolaou’s mother Andirana thanked Christodoulides for his decision.

“I want to tell him [the President] that I have full confidence in him,” she said. “He is our last hope as to what went wrong and what tormented us all these years, from the moment my son’s lifeless body spoke for itself at the scene where it was found.”

She also said she was relieved to have cleared her son’s name “from the stigma of suicide that had tarnished it.”

“It is unacceptable to tarnish the name of a dead child, while the many pieces of evidence found spoke for themselves.”

On Monday, Savvas Matsas, who was appointed as an independent criminal investigator in the last assessment of the case but was removed after he went public with his findings that Nicolaou was murdered in a coverup, said “it is now time for the state to begin preparing criminal prosecutions against those involved in the killing of Nicolaou.”

Later on, Justice Minister Marios Hartsiotis promised that “everything will be investigated” regarding the case.

He announced that the terms of the independent investigators will be defined in detail later on, but that, in general, they will be asked “to do nothing more than to investigate whether specific actions should have been taken between 2005 and today, which were not taken”.

“It is precisely because the margins are narrowing, as you realise after 19 whole years, that there is no choice of what to investigate to get to the real truth of what happened, and to those who committed the crime,” he said.

He went on to say the case is a “tragic, sensitive matter”, and that it must “end in the best possible way so that everyone is happy, so that finally the soul of Thanasis, and his family, can rest.