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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 97-12-28
From: The Cyprus Mail at <http://www.cynews.com/>
Sunday, December 28, 1997
 Son held for Christmas Day stabbingBy Charlie Charalambous
A MAN is being held in police custody on suspicion of stabbing his father to death and seriously injuring his mother on Christmas Day.
Athos Neocleous, 26, was remanded for eight days by a Larnaca court on Friday in connection with the double crime.
A state psychiatrist said he was addicted to drugs and alcohol, and as a result suffered paranoia and delusions.
The court heard that at around 9.30pm on Christmas Day, the suspect went to his parents' home and started a violent argument with his father Archimides for cutting short his music studies in the United States.
Athos, a night club employee, was apparently brought home from America by his parents after becoming addicted to drugs and suffering psychological problems.
A friend of the family - senior police officer Antonakis Theoharou - was present at the time of the argument, and allegedly saw Athos brand a knife and stab his father and mother.
Although the policeman tried to disarm and apprehend the suspect, Athos managed to flee and drove away in a white van. the court heard.
Archimides Neocleous, 53, died from a fatal blow to the chest and his wife Despo, 52, received serious wounds to the stomach and liver. Her condition was listed yesterday as critical but not life-threatening.
The suspect was found in Troodos the next morning. He was totally calm and did not resist arrest, police said.
During his appearance at Larnaca court Athos told the judge;
"I am not guilty. My father and my mother Despo were murdered in England years ago. And they were replaced by Aziz and Thaleia who were killed last night. I am telling you the truth."
State psychiatrist Kyriacos Veresies said that Athos had been receiving treatment for some time; for the past six months, he had made complaints to police that his real parents had been replaced.
Veresies added that the suspect's behaviour had changed markedly after he returned to drugs after a period of rehabilitation.
The doctor said he had in the past tried in vain to get Athos admitted to the Athalassa psychiatric hospital for surveillance.
Following the murder, however, Athos was yesterday admitted to Athalassa for treatment.
 'Children confess to Christmas carol mugging death'By Charlie Charalambous
THREE children could face manslaughter charges after they admitted to mugging a 79-year-old woman after a spot of carol singing on Christmas Eve.
Xenou Yianni Kyparas was found dead at her Kokkines refugee home in Larnaca by a neighbour bringing her soup on the morning of Christmas Day.
The three children, all aged under 13, are from Kokkines and Tsiakillero.
They have been released into the custody of their parents as they are too young to be held in custody.
According to Larnaca police, two of the youngsters went carol singing to the home of Xenou on Wednesday night.
When she went to give them some coins, they snatched her purse containing £4 and ran off.
But they later returned with a third friend at around 8pm the same day, believing the elderly woman had a hidden stash of money.
Police said the three entered the house through the back door and grabbed the old lady who was watching TV at the time; they started to beat her and turned her home upside down in search of the money.
The children apparently fled after only finding 25 cents, leaving the woman on the floor.
Sophocles Sophocleous, the state pathologist who arrived at the scene, at first did not suspect any wrongdoing, believing Xenou had died of a heart attack brought on by a previous condition.
But Larnaca CID received information about the incident and three youths were called in for questioning; police say they admitted to robbing the woman.
Police are now investigating whether to prosecute the case as manslaughter or robbery and are awaiting further instructions from the Attorney- general's office.
 Three hospitalised after Christmas gang fightBy Andrew Adamides
THREE people ended up in hospital after an incident in which Cypriot youths allegedly attacked two young Georgians on Christmas Day.
The incident happened as Alexis Bouranov and Yiannis Popov, both 25, were returning home from a nightclub in Kato Paphos at around 11.30 pm. Police said they were initially confronted by three Cypriot youths, who attacked them with iron bars and sticks. The fight then apparently escalated, with around 50 youths eventually involved.
The Georgians managed to get away and reported the incident to Paphos CID; they were then taken to Paphos General Hospital for treatment and were kept in for observation.
Police arrested 17-year-old Christos Phillipas at the scene of the attack.
The unemployed teenager from Mesoyi village admitted causing grievous bodily harm and implicated two other underage youths in the attack.
One of these is a 16-year-old, who also ended up in hospital, apparently suffering from amnesia as a result of the fray. He has not been charged, but police expect to question him when he is released.
Phillipas and a third suspect, who has not been named, have already been charged in connection with the assault.
The attack is believed to be linked to a long-running vendetta between Cypriot and Georgian Greek gangs in the area.
A large group of Georgians gathered at Paphos Police station yesterday to protest the beatings, but dispersed peacefully. No arrests were made.
 US-Russian rivalry spills over in water warBy Jean Christou
RUSSIA's Cold War rivalry with the US has resurfaced over the island's chronic water shortage.
The US ambassador's plans to bring both sides together early next year to discuss the water problems have received an angry response at the Russian embassy.
According to informed sources, the Russian embassy is indignant over the American move because it had already prepared proposals to aid the island's water shortage.
The two proposals drawn up by the Russians were submitted to the government last week.
But the Americans, although they have not submitted any concrete proposals, have expressed their intention of chairing a joint Greek and Turkish Cypriot meeting on the issue.
This proposal was put forward at the Greek and Turkish Cypriot businessmen's seminar held last month in Brussels under American auspices.
"The Russians are annoyed because they already had their proposals in the pipeline, and now the Americans are muscling in," a source in the Greek Cypriot businessman's group said.
The businessmen themselves expressed their irritation last week over the US embassy's attempt to "dump" the water issue on the businessmen's forum; they believe the matter belongs in the political domain.
The sources said the difference between the two embassies was that the Russians "quite rightly" went to the government, which controls water, while the Americans said: "you have a big water problem and we want to help you solve it."
A spokesman at the Russian embassy confirmed that two proposals had been submitted to the government to ease the water shortage. "We have a co- operation with the Cyprus government for about 15 years and have taken part in several projects," the spokesman said.
He added that the bi-communal aspect of the water problems could not be ruled out "because rivers don't recognise cease-fire lines".
The Water Development Department said it was studying the Russian proposals, which are based on the better use of existing resources, a spokesman there said.
He added that the Department had not been approached by the US embassy about the water problems.
 Feissel sees opportunities and risks for 1998THE DIFFERENCES between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots "are not insurmountable", providing there is the political will to clinch a deal, according to United Nations Representative Gustave Feissel.
Speaking in an interview with the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) yesterday, Feissel said 1998 offered a "unique opportunity" to reach a solution to the Cyprus problem. He described the period after the February presidential elections as a defining moment, and said it was because of this that 1998 would be "a very important year".
However, he warned the consequences could be dire if the opportunities offered by the new year were not taken.
Were the next round of peace talks, scheduled for March, to end inconclusively, he said, it would be far more serious than the failure of the previous round.
There would, according to Feissel, also be conditions affecting the situation which did not exist this year.
Citing the European Union accession talks as an example, Feissel stressed that it would be better for all concerned if these went ahead on the basis of a solved Cyprus problem.
He added that Turkish reaction to the recent EU decisions concerning Cyprus would be "very different" if progress were made towards a solution.
Feissel also voiced concern over military developments in Greece, Cyprus and Turkey, saying this was another indication that "things are not staying the same".
"If there is a settlement or progress towards a settlement," he said, "then we will go up one kind of road. If not, we will go up a different kind of road, a bad road which is bad news for everybody."
 Turks hold Greek for another eight daysA MILITARY 'court' in the occupied areas has placed a further eight-day remand order on a 24-year-old Greek man apprehended in the Nicosia buffer zone last Thursday.
According to the Turkish Cypriot News Agency, TAK, salesman Spyros Lilles has been remanded again to allow further investigation into the case.
On Christmas Eve, his girlfriend, Vasiligi Greveyani was allowed into the occupied areas to take him some personal items.
Drinks salesman Lilles, from Larissa in Northern Greece, is thought to have been drunk at the time of his capture.
 Hong Kong flu panic hits chicken salesLOCAL chicken breeders have fallen fowl of public panic over Hong Kong flu as their sales plummeted over Christmas.
Reports said chickens had not been very popular this Christmas because of the bird flu scare in Hong Kong, which has killed four people. Until May this year, the strain of flu had only been found in chickens.
Though no cases have been reported outside Hong Kong, it seems local consumers were unconvinced with the government's assurances than no bird feed or fowl from Hong Kong or China were imported to Cyprus.
Early reports estimate that chicken sales over Christmas only reached half of last year's figures.
But the flight from chicken was good (or bad) news for turkeys, whose sales saw an unexpected boost as a result.
Chicken farm owners are plucking up the courage to slash prices in order to recover some of the lost profits in the new year.
 Cassoulides dismisses Turkish 'blackmail'FOREIGN Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides yesterday hit back at the Turkish Cypriot decision to halt the inter-communal talks, describing it as blackmail.
Cassoulides was replying to statements made last week by Turkish Cypriot 'Foreign Minister' Tanner Etkin.
Etkin said the Turkish Cypriot side would no longer attend the talks, saying it needed time to consider its position in the light of the recent European Union decision to begin accession talks with Cyprus in the spring of 1998.
Cassoulides said the Turkish side would "reason" when the talks came nearer. He described the move as one of the "well-known blackmailing" manoeuvres of the Turkish side.
The Foreign Minister's statements came on the back of comments on Friday to the Athens News Agency in which he said that Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz had always supported closer ties between Turkey and Northern Cyprus.
Cassoulides was speaking after Yilmaz' address to a Turkish parliamentary commission in which he referred to the Cyprus problem as the main obstacle to Turkey's European Union accession.
In the same speech, he warned that Ankara and Moscow faced possible confrontation over the delivery of S-300 air-defence systems to Cyprus, saying he was concerned over the missiles and "the issue of Russian personnel who will be deployed in the region."
Speaking on Christmas Eve on a Turkish television programme, Yilmaz also said it was impossible to reach a Cyprus solution through inter-communal talks, and that Turkey had made clear to the EU that it would no longer discuss problems relating to Cyprus and Greece.
The Turkish Prime Minister said the parameters for the Cyprus talks, held under United Nations auspices for 30 years, had undoubtedly changed for the worse.
© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1997