The two cabinet-appointed investigators received their formal orders of operation on Wednesday, as they began digging into the 19-year-old case of guardsman Thanasis Nicolaou’s murder.

They have “three months starting yesterday”, one of the investigators, lawyer Thanasis Athanasiou told reporters.

Both have agreed not to make any public statements and only if needed may issue a written statement.

Nicolaou was killed in 2005, when he was 26 during his national guard stint. His body was found under Alassa bridge and was immediately ruled as a suicide.

His family has fought to prove it was a murder coverup. The third inquiry into his death earlier this month determined he was strangled to death in a criminal act, thus paving the way for a new investigation seeking to identify who killed him and why it was covered up for 19 years.

Cabinet appointed retired Greek police lieutenant Lambros Pappas and lawyer Thanasis Athanasiou to carry out an independent investigation into the killing.

In statements from his law office, Athanasiou he and Pappas have been tasked “to begin questioning [individuals] in relation to the circumstances of Nicolaou’s death, who was found dead on September 29, 2005, near Alassa bridge in Limassol.”

They will also have to identify any “reprehensible acts or omissions that occurred during the investigations carried out regarding the causes of death”.

The case file is expected to include more than 5,000 pages of material amassed in the almost 20 years which have elapsed since Nicolaou’s killing.

His inquiry heard how Nicolaou was severely bullied in his army camp and told his family he feared for his life, as he knew of drug dealing at the barracks.

He was found dead a day after he reported his bullying and concerns over drugs.