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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 97-10-11

Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus Mail at <http://www.cynews.com/>


Saturday, October 11, 1997

CONTENTS

  • [01] Gun and grenades found in murder suspect's house
  • [02] Court orders probe into torture claim
  • [03] Policeman suspected of orchestrating hash ring
  • [04] Holbrooke off to Ankara to discuss Cyprus
  • [05] Nikiforos gets under way as Russia warns Turkey on missiles
  • [06] Talat backs EU membership before Turkey but not before a solution
  • [07] Work starts to pump water out of Romantica
  • [08] HTI director re-appointed to his post
  • [09] Cyprus to take part in global telefood appeal
  • [10] Minister warns of dangers of breast cancer
  • [11] Cyprus hope to end World Cup campaign with win

  • [01] Gun and grenades found in murder suspect's house

    POLICE investigating the Kilani killing yesterday found a hand-gun and four grenades in a storeroom belonging to 66-year-old murder suspect Michalis Panis.

    Officers were searching for a meat-cleaver they believe was used to kill 60- year-old Matheos Christofi on a village street on Wednesday afternoon but instead unearthed the armaments, in a usable condition, and a number of bullets.

    A post-mortem examination of the victim's body, carried out by state pathologist Panayiotis Stavrianos yesterday, confirmed that he had been killed by two heavy blows to the back of the head with a sharp-edged instrument. The autopsy also revealed signs that Christofi had been involved in a brawl before he was felled.

    Panis, who christened the victim's son, was on Thursday remanded in custody for eight days in connection with the brutal killing, which shocked the sleepy Limassol district village.

    Police say they have accounts from witnesses which implicate Panis in the murder, but he denies any involvement.

    Limassol District Court heard during the remand hearing that Panis had small scratches all over his body which suggested he had been involved in a fight. Panis told the court he received the marks while pruning his vines.

    Police also said a watch believed to be Panis's was found on the murder scene. Panis retorted that he never wore such a watch.

    The suspect and victim had a history of long-running feuds, the court heard. Police said the rows were usually over property rights and antagonism between the two had worsened recently.

    [02] Court orders probe into torture claim

    A PAPHOS court yesterday ordered that two Ukrainian's claims of police brutality be investigated by both the police and the Justice Ministry.

    Ingor Kovsharev, 25, and Alexander Gargagav, 27, were brought up before Paphos District Court yesterday morning and charged with resisting arrest and assaulting police officers. But the lawyer representing the two suspects, Michalakis Michaelides, told the court his clients had been tortured after their arrest for non-payment of a £8 bar-bill on Sunday.

    Michaelides said Kovsharev and Gargagav had been hand-cuffed to chairs in a Paphos central police station interrogation room and beaten repeatedly on the back and bear soles of their feet with metal rods.

    The court ordered that the two Ukrainians be examined both by a Paphos hospital doctor and a private physician of their own choice so as to determine whether the alleged injuries were the result of beatings.

    The two men were arrested in a Paphos cabaret on Sunday night after a barman complained to police they had refused to pay a drinks bill.

    On Monday they were brought up before Paphos District Court and remanded on suspicion of resisting arrest and assaulting police officers. They deny attacking officers and claim that after their court appearance they were taken back to the central police station and beaten up.

    The two suspects were released on £1,000 bail each and will answer to the assault charges when they re-appear before the court on October 22.

    [03] Policeman suspected of orchestrating hash ring

    POLICE believe they have nabbed the leader of a drug-trafficking ring bringing marijuana into the country from Holland.

    Special policeman Loukas Kakkouris, 31, is suspected of orchestrating the alleged smuggling of hashish by Yeri villager Nicos Nicolaou.

    Twenty-year-old Nicolaou was arrested on arrival at Larnaca airport on a flight from Amsterdam on September 24 after police said they found seven- and-a-half kilos of marijuana in his hand-luggage. The seizure was described by police as the biggest ever haul of marijuana destined for the local market.

    Kakkouris was brought up before Larnaca District Court yesterday along with another suspected gang-member, Kyriacos Constantinou, 25, unemployed from Latsia. The court heard that Constantinou and Kakkouris were close family friends and both cannabis users.

    They were remanded for eight days, while Kakkouris's colleague Andreas Flourentzou, 24, arrested the weekend after the seizure, was remanded for a further eight days.

    Flourentzou, Kakkouris and Constantinou all live on the same estate in the Latsia suburb of Nicosia.

    Both special policemen have been axed from their security posts at Larnaca airport. Police believe they took advantage of their postings to facilitate the smuggling of drugs by Nicolaou.

    Investigating officer Andreas Vryonis told the court the Drug Squad had information that Kakkouris had arranged for another three kilos of marijuana to be brought over from Amsterdam by Nicolaou between August 25 and 27.

    Nicolaou and two other suspected ring members - Andreas Charalambous, 23 from Latsia outside Nicosia, and 20-year-old Akis Afxentiou, from Yeri near Nicosia - were also up before the court yesterday for remand renewals but their hearing was postponed till today because their lawyers were unable to show up.

    Vryonis told the court Charalambous had introduced Nicolaou to a contact in Holland who was the gang's supplier.

    [04] Holbrooke off to Ankara to discuss Cyprus

    By Jean Christou

    US PRESIDENTIAL envoy for Cyprus Richard Holbrooke will arrive in Ankara tomorrow for consultations with Turkish officials on the Cyprus problem.

    According to the Associated Press, a US official said Holbrooke would begin his round of talks on Monday but added it was not clear if his trip would include Athens and Nicosia.

    It will be Holbrooke's first visit to the region since he was appointed as President Bill Clinton's special envoy for Cyprus earlier this year.

    During his recent visit to the US, President Clerides met Holbrooke and also attended a special working breakfast to promote business activities between the US and Cyprus.

    The event came under fire in Cyprus when acting president Spyros Kyprianou said Holbrooke should not be promoting trade between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots, as had been reported.

    Holbrooke, also an investment banker on Wall Street has clarified some of the questions raised by the breakfast he hosted in New York.

    In a statement to the Turkish Daily News (TDN), Holbrooke categorically denied all implications of a conflict of interest or that he might be directing US business to Greek Cypriots.

    "In regard to the breakfast... for President Clerides, let me be clear: this breakfast was entirely non-commercial," Holbrooke told TDN.

    "I am doing no business in Greece, Turkey or Cyprus. I told my investment bank (Crédit Suisse) First Boston that I cannot do any business in any of the region because I have a responsibility to the US government," he said.

    "There were no other people from First Boston at the breakfast. The people there were journalists and businessmen and it was the kind of general discussion that I have held for the Turks and will hold again. It is part of my strong belief that economic co-operation is in the mutual benefit of everyone."

    Turkish and Greek businessmen as well as their Cypriot counterparts are expected to come together in Brussels for a three-day meeting between November 12 and 15, organised by Holbrooke.

    [05] Nikiforos gets under way as Russia warns Turkey on missiles

    THE NATIONAL Guard's huge military exercise "Nikiforos '97" started yesterday with the registering of 9,000 reservists.

    Live ammunition will be used during the five-day annual exercise which will run parallel to Greek air force and naval manoeuvres code-named Toxotis.

    Greek jets and navy vessels will also take part in the Nikiforos exercise.

    Toxotis will operate within the Nicosia FIR between Cyprus and Rhodes, as allowed under the joint defence pact signed in 1993.

    Greek Defence Minister Akis Tzohatzopoulos will arrive in Cyprus on Monday to watch the closing stages of the military war games which will climax with a parade.

    The show of military might comes at time when the row over the Russian S- 300 missiles has risen a few notches.

    During an interview on CyBC TV, Russia's ambassador to Cyprus Georgi Muratov warned Turkey that at any attack on Russian ship delivering the missiles would be considered an act of war.

    He said Moscow was committed to delivering the missiles and threats by Turkey to strike the missiles if deployed were unrealistic and impractical.

    [06] Talat backs EU membership before Turkey but not before a solution

    REPUBLICAN Turkish Party leader Mehmet Ali Talat backs Cyprus' EU bid ahead of Turkey but believes the island's membership should come after a solution.

    Continuing his round of contacts with local party leaders, Talat had a two- hour meeting with Edek's Vassos Lyssarides yesterday in Nicosia.

    Both agreed in principle that a Cyprus solution must be reached through peaceful and not military means.

    But the two left-wing party leaders were in disagreement over the timing of the island's EU entry.

    Talat, who leads one of the two main opposition parties in the north, said he preferred the island's membership to come after a Cyprus solution.

    Lyssarides was adamant that no link should be made between progress in the peace process and the island's EU membership.

    However, Talat has no objections to Cyprus becoming a member before Turkey and even believes that the island's accession would benefit Turkey.

    And he added that Cyprus joining the EU would actually improve Turkey's chances, as tension on the island would be greatly reduced as a result.

    In an earlier radio interview with Kibris FM, Talat had lambasted the attitude of Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    Talat said that Denktash was leading the Turkish Cypriot people to disaster.

    During the interview, Denktash was criticised for using threats and blackmail to make a point on the international stage.

    As a consequence, the international community no longer understood his position, Talat said.

    [07] Work starts to pump water out of Romantica

    WORK STARTED yesterday on pumping hundreds of tons of water from the gutted cruise ship Romantica, anchored off Limassol port since Monday.

    The start of the work was launched yesterday in the presence of Ports Authority Chairman Dinos Erotokritou and Limassol Mayor Demetris Kontides.

    The authorities have said all the necessary precautions have been taken to prevent any spillage of fuel from the vessel. It is believed the tanks, which have been sealed, contain some 50 tons of fuel.

    It is unlikely now that investigators will be able to begin their work on establishing the cause of the fire until Monday.

    Some 700 passengers and crew aboard the Romantica were evacuated on to the Louis-owned Princessa Victoria last Saturday after a fire broke out in the engine room.

    The ship is under police guard at Limassol because there are three safes aboard, one of which contains thousands of pounds worth of diamonds and gold jewellery belonging to an Israeli company.

    The safes will only be opened after a representative of the company, which operated a duty free shop on the Romantica, arrives on the island.

    [08] HTI director re-appointed to his post

    THE DIRECTOR of the Higher Technical Institute (HTI) who was ousted by a Supreme Court decision in July has been re-appointed.

    Demetris Lazarides said yesterday that after the Supreme Court decision he was demoted to his previous position as Head of the Civil Engineering Department - which he had held from 1970 to 1991 - in order to abide by the court's decision.

    But he told the Cyprus Mail yesterday he had been offered the Directorship again in September, with retrospective effect to June of this year.

    Lazarides said the press had been "grossly misled" as to the reasoning behind the Supreme Court's decision.

    Lazarides' appointment in 1991 was challenged shortly afterwards by George Iordanou, head of the HTI's Mechanical and Marine Engineering Department.

    Iordanou had challenged the appointment on the basis that he believed Lazarides did not have a recognised university degree to do the job.

    Iordanou had said Lazarides had a college diploma he earned in 1964 from a British institution whose qualifications went on later to be recognised as a degree.

    He also said the Public Services Commission had not investigated the issue properly before making the appointment in 1991.

    Iordanou's first challenge at a lower court failed, but he took the issue all the way to the Supreme Court.

    Lazarides said yesterday, however, that the Supreme Court had not questioned his qualifications, which are in fact of degree equivalent, as required for the post.

    "It says the court is not passing a judgement on my qualifications but on the way the Public Services Commission arrived at the conclusion that I satisfied the scheme of service," Lazarides said.

    Lazarides joined Loughborough College of Advanced Technology in 1961 for a three-year Diploma course in Civil Engineering. He received his diploma with honours in 1964.

    In 1977, he joined Vanderbilt University in the United States as a Fulbright Scholar and after a year of studies he received an MSC degree.

    Documents from the British Department of Education, the Engineering Council, the Institution of Civil Engineers and the British Council in Nicosia also testify to Lazarides' qualifications.

    [09] Cyprus to take part in global telefood appeal

    CYPRUS is set to participate in "World Telefood", the first global-level television appeal for food by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

    At the ceremony for world food day in Nicosia yesterday, Agriculture Minister Costas Petrides announced the participation and said the appeal target set for Cyprus was £100,000. He called on all Cypriots to contribute to the appeal, adding that he was confident the target would be met.

    In a message delivered by FAO's Representative in Cyprus, Amor Ben Romhdans, the organisation's director general said "World Telefood" would consist of a series of TV events organised simultaneously worldwide, with an epicentre in Rome, where the organisation is based.

    He added that working together to achieve food for all "is not merely a moral obligation" but "the key to a sustainable development".

    Of FAO's 174 member states, 86 face food insufficiency problems, while a recent FAO report claims that 800 million adults and 200 million children aged under five worldwide do not have enough food.

    [10] Minister warns of dangers of breast cancer

    THIS year's European Cancer week will be dedicated to the two commonest forms of the disease - womb and breast cancer - Health Minister Christos Solomis said at a press conference to kick off the awareness week yesterday.

    In his speech, Solomis stressed that breast cancer was the commonest form of the disease in the developed world and womb cancer commonest the commonest in the developing world. He said that in Cyprus there were on average 210 breast cancers diagnosed each year, and 50 cases of womb cancer. He added that the Papanicolaou test and breast screening were two simple, painless tests which could save lives if performed regularly.

    Solomis said the Health Ministry had prepared an epistemological study of the diseases for Cyprus and was now in talks with the Pancyprian Medical Association to discuss putting into effect a long-term plan to introduce regular screening for all women in Cyprus.

    To mark European cancer week, free Papanicolaou tests and breast examinations will be available at hospitals, and a lecture on the dangers of cancer will be given by Dimitris Tricholopoulos, a senior Greek lecturer at Harvard University.

    [11] Cyprus hope to end World Cup campaign with win

    By George Christou

    CYPRUS' Group 5 World Cup qualifier against Luxembourg today, their last in the campaign, is unlikely to attract too many fans.

    The opposition cannot be described as a crowd attraction, the result is totally irrelevant, the group has already been won by Bulgaria and infinitely more exciting games will be shown on television.

    Unless of course fans go in the knowledge that they will have a very good chance to cheer a Cyprus victory. It is not that often Cyprus go into a game, even at home, as the overwhelming favourites to win the game.

    In fact it was against Luxembourg a few weeks ago that Cyprus recorded their first ever away victory in a World Cup qualifier. They won 3-1 without breaking sweat.

    Victory today would provide yet another record. Cyprus will have collected the highest number of points ever in a World Cup qualifier. If they win today they will have taken 10 points from eight matches thanks to wins over Israel and Luxembourg and a home draw against Russia.

    The most important result of these was the goalless draw against Russia, which greatly assisted Bulgaria's qualification for the finals. Had Russia won that game, they would still have had a chance of qualifying if they beat Bulgaria in their final game. The difference now - four points - is unbridgeable.

    So apart from taking their biggest points haul, Cyprus also had a hand in determining who went through to the finals. They will still finish second from last in the table behind third-placed Israel who have 13 points. Luxembourg are bottom with no points.

    For national team coach, Panicos Georgiou, victory today would mean he has taken maximum points from his two World Cup games in charge, an unprecedented achievement. Georgiou has promised that the national side, under him, would adopt a more positive approach to games, although it must be said his tactics have not been tested yet.

    Georgiou said he was certain his players would perform better than they did in the away game against Luxembourg. He has to say something to attract some fans to the game. "We need the support of the fans" he said.

    But the players today will be more concerned with avoiding injuries that would keep them out of league action, than impressing their coach. No such luck for Apoel keeper Andreas Petrides who was injured in training this week and had to pull out of the squad.

    He will be replaced by Apollonas' 23-year-old keeper Alexandros Michael, whom Georgiou had used to train when he was coach of the national youth team. Michael will be on the subs' bench with Anorthosis' Andreas Panayiotou standing between the posts.

    Olympiakos Piraeus' Sinica Gogic will be missing from today's line-up because he is suspended, but the national team welcomes another Serb player who has acquired Cypriot citizenship - Apollonas' midfielder Milenko Spoliaric.

    Spoliaric, an accomplished inside forward who scores regularly and can also play as libero, will strengthen the midfield considerably. Another Apollonas player, Marios Charalambous will also miss today's game through suspension.

    Luxembourg arrived on Thursday and trained at the Tsirion stadium, where the match will be played, last night. They were not impressed with the heat.

    "We knew Cyprus was a hot country, but we did not expect the temperature to be 30 degrees in October," said Robby Langers, who at 37 will probably be playing his last international game for Luxembourg.

    The match at the Tsirion stadium in Limassol kicks off at 7.

    © Copyright 1997 Cyprus Mail

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