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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 99-08-27

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

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


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Wednesday, August 27, 1999

CONTENTS

  • [01] Cabinet grants aid package for Turkish quakeJean ChristouThe new cabinet yesterday approved US$100,000 in aid for quake-stricken Turkey, Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides said.Cassoulides made the announcement after the first cabinet meeting held after the swearing in of three new government ministers earlier in the day following a government reshuffle."We will send through the UN office in charge of organising international aid, medical supplies and other goods worth US$100,000 to quake-hit Turkey," Cassoulides told reporters.The government said last week it would offer any assistance it could to traditional enemies Turkey following the devastating earthquake on August 18, and approached the United Nations to broach Ankara on the issue.Cassoulides said he did not know whether Turkey would accept the offer of aid."From the second day, after the extent of the damage was revealed, we contacted the appropriate authorities and told them that Cypriot doctors, a forensic pathologist, a general surgeon, two nurses and a civil engineer had offered their services, " Cassoulides said."We have made our intentions clear but we have not received an answer yet," Cassoulides saidThe pathologist who offered to go to Turkey was Diko deputy Marios Matsakis. He told the Cyprus Mail last night that in all 18 Greek Cypriot professionals had volunteered."The offer still stands and we would be pleased to offer any help we can" he saidA Greek Cypriot medical team who are members of the non-governmental organisation Doctors of the World, and who visited the quake-hit areas of Turkey last week spoke on their return on Tuesday about the warm reception they received from villagers.Two doctors and a male nurse travelled to the quake-hit villages in northern Turkey.The cabinet aid was announced only 24 hours after the same doctors slammed the government for allegedly doing nothing to help them in their resuce mission.Although the complained that the government and not paid anything toward their air fares - they flew gratis with Turkish Airlines - they did concede that the Interior Ministry had paid for a mobile unit with medical goods to be sent to Turkey.Local Doctors of the World branch chief Dr. Neophytos Xenofontos said they hoped to send a second team to the region shortly btut he said this would mainly consisit of delivering pharmaceuticals.
  • [02] New ministers sworn in
  • [03] Did Clerides break the law by offering his ministers hare?
  • [04] Papapetrou on hare and cooked babies
  • [05] Papapetrou defends government's Cyprus problem stance
  • [06] New defence minister prepares visit to Greece
  • [07] Disy Larnaca executive resigns
  • [08] Government promises extra cash for special quake teams
  • [09] Zakaki residents plan anti-desalination protests
  • [10] Eight-session rally snaps amid renewed market tension
  • [11] Soldiers held over disappearing hand grenades
  • [12] Tourists held after police find cocktail of drugs

  • [01] Cabinet grants aid package for Turkish quakeJean ChristouThe new cabinet yesterday approved US$100,000 in aid for quake-stricken Turkey, Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides said.Cassoulides made the announcement after the first cabinet meeting held after the swearing in of three new government ministers earlier in the day following a government reshuffle."We will send through the UN office in charge of organising international aid, medical supplies and other goods worth US$100,000 to quake-hit Turkey," Cassoulides told reporters.The government said last week it would offer any assistance it could to traditional enemies Turkey following the devastating earthquake on August 18, and approached the United Nations to broach Ankara on the issue.Cassoulides said he did not know whether Turkey would accept the offer of aid."From the second day, after the extent of the damage was revealed, we contacted the appropriate authorities and told them that Cypriot doctors, a forensic pathologist, a general surgeon, two nurses and a civil engineer had offered their services, " Cassoulides said."We have made our intentions clear but we have not received an answer yet," Cassoulides saidThe pathologist who offered to go to Turkey was Diko deputy Marios Matsakis. He told the Cyprus Mail last night that in all 18 Greek Cypriot professionals had volunteered."The offer still stands and we would be pleased to offer any help we can" he saidA Greek Cypriot medical team who are members of the non-governmental organisation Doctors of the World, and who visited the quake-hit areas of Turkey last week spoke on their return on Tuesday about the warm reception they received from villagers.Two doctors and a male nurse travelled to the quake-hit villages in northern Turkey.The cabinet aid was announced only 24 hours after the same doctors slammed the government for allegedly doing nothing to help them in their resuce mission.Although the complained that the government and not paid anything toward their air fares - they flew gratis with Turkish Airlines - they did concede that the Interior Ministry had paid for a mobile unit with medical goods to be sent to Turkey.Local Doctors of the World branch chief Dr. Neophytos Xenofontos said they hoped to send a second team to the region shortly btut he said this would mainly consisit of delivering pharmaceuticals.

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    Wednesday, August 27, 1999

    [02] New ministers sworn in

    Jean Christou

    THREE new cabinet ministers and a government spokesman were sworn yesterday after a cabinet reshuffle forced on President Glafcos Clerides by two sudden resignations on Monday.

    Opposition parties were unanimous in their verdict that the changes signalled yet another nail in the coffin of an ailing government rather then the rejuvenation touted by Clerides supporters.

    At the presidential palace yesterday morning, Socrates Hassikos, a member of parliament for the ruling Disy, was appointed defence minister in place of former judge Yiannakis Chrysostomis, who quit on Monday along with government spokesman Costas Serezis.

    Averof Neophytou, also a Disy deputy, was sworn in as communications and works minister to replace Leontios

    Ierodiaconou, who resigned last month.

    Frixos Savvides, chairman of the Apollon football club, was named health minister in place of Christos Solomis.

    while Michalis Papapetrou, vice chairman of the United Democrats, the party of former president George Vassiliou and Disy's junior coalition partner, was sworn in as government spokesman.

    Clerides had not planned a reshuffle until November but his

    hand was forced by the two resignations on Monday.

    Papapetrou's predecessor Serezis, a journalist, endured a

    bumpy ride from the media during his six-month term as spokesman and was widely perceived as ineffective. He also publicly clashed with members of the ruling party.

    Both he and Chrysostomis said on Monday they felt they had

    been hounded out of office by an orchestrated campaign from

    within the ranks.

    Chrysostomis had also been the focus of public attention

    following a series of controversies relating to defence issues.

    Solomis, who unlike his colleagues did not resign ahead of the reshuffle, was recently hit by a scandal involving the disappearance of vital kidney drugs from hospitals.

    His term as health minister was also blighted by the fact

    that he came over as "uncaring" to media and public alike.

    During the ceremony Clerides expressed the hope that the new ministers would work intensively, and with objectivity for the best interests of Cyprus.

    Speaking on behalf of the appointees, Hassikos assured the President that they would all work to serve the national interest in an objective manner for the benefit of the Cypriot people.

    He himself would do everything in his power as Defence Minister to reinforce the defence dogma with Greece.

    On his part, Papapetrou said: "I'm open to criticism, after all criticism is not only necessary but essential in a democracy".

    After the ceremony the new cabinet members visited their respective ministries before heading to the presidential retreat in the Troodos mountains to hold their first session.

    Following the meeting and lunch, Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides fended off the criticism of the opposition parties and the fact that Clerides had not fulfilled his promise to form a broad-based government.

    "The president, as far as I know, addressed himself to personalities from various political areas. Unfortunately, as far as I'm concerned, there were parties which did not allow, or made it clear that they would not consider it friendly for the president to address himself and appoint people from these areas," he said. "There are other parties that did not respond but that is their right".

    Cassoulides said that, in his opinion, Clerides had formed a homogeneous government with ministers who support his policies concerning the Cyprus problem and internal government policies.

    He also criticised the opposition for being prone to exaggeration and being harsh at a time when unity is necessary.

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    Wednesday, August 27, 1999

    [03] Did Clerides break the law by offering his ministers hare?

    By Charlie Charalambous

    PRESIDENT Clerides' new-look cabinet unwittingly strayed into its first political scandal yesterday after it emerged that ministers ate poached hare at Wednesday's Troodos get-together.

    Not wanting to miss the opportunity of knocking down a government still trying to find its feet, Diko opposition deputy Marios Matsakis said Clerides had broken the law when he allowed hare onto the menu at the Presidential retreat.

    "The President himself boasted that four hares were consumed during lunch, he was confessing to a crime," Matsakis told reporters.

    "Possession of hare seven days after the end of the hunting season is an offence and the shooting season for hare ended on November 30, 1998," he added.

    According to the game law, it is illegal for hotels, restaurants and other establishments to offer wild hare on the menu.

    Police told the Cyprus Mailit was illegal for hare to be bought or sold commercially without a special license from the Interior Ministry.

    Poaching and supplying wild game is punishable with three years imprisonment and a 1,500 fine.

    Matsakis made an official complaint to the game service yesterday calling for an investigation into the cabinet's forbidden meal.

    "The authorities cannot on the one hand prosecute poor individuals for having a frozen partridge in their fridge and on the other have the Council of Ministers consuming hare eight months after the hunting period," said Matsakis.

    Understanding that Wednesday's laid-back mountain meeting -- which followed some ugly reshuffle back-stabbing -- might suddenly blow up into the next crisis, the government called in Attorney-general Alecos Markides for advice.

    Fledgling government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou, a trained lawyer, said he had been informed that eating frozen hare during the off-season was perfectly legal, as long as it had been caught in the permitted period.

    But an official game service source told CyBC that keeping hare in the freezer after the hunting period finished was illegal.

    But Interior Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou said the "spirit of the law had not been violated", as it was intended to prevent poaching, and the presidential hares were clearly not poached.

    Hares -- which can fetch 60-a-head on the black market -- are the choice winter season catch for the island's 50,000 hunting enthusiasts.

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    Wednesday, August 27, 1999

    [04] Papapetrou on hare and cooked babies

    By Charlie Charalambous

    MICHALIS Papapetrou showed no first-day nerves on taking up the hottest seat in government yesterday, deftly dismissing a barrage of questions about his eating habits.

    The tall and commanding 52-year-old has been given the unenviable task of promoting the good deeds of an administration that is held in extremely low esteem.

    And top of yesterday's varied agenda were... poached hare, the lack of women in the cabinet, earthquake relief, why Larnaca had been left in the cold in the reshuffle, and whether President Clerides was in fact George Vassiliou in 'Ghali-Ideas' disguise.

    But before the proceedings began, the imposing spokesman gave a little pep talk to the media.

    "I see you as colleagues as we all have an obligation to send the correct message to the Cypriot public," Papapetrou said in his best headmaster voice.

    In the opening exchanges, one cheeky hack asked "what about inviting us out to eat?" while another wise guy retorted, "we've had quite a few government spokesmen for lunch".

    This appeared to break the ice, but Papapetrou gave an assured briefing, with his only 'off-message' comment concerning his dislike for the wild hare controversially served up at Wednesday's Troodos cabinet meeting.

    "I didn't eat it because I have this idea in my mind that it's like cooking a baby," Papapetrou said in reply to claims the cabinet had eaten illegal hare on Wednesday.

    The spokesman's job has been dubbed the "post nobody wants", while others unkindly describe the post as that of "government apologist".

    Papapetrou is the third Clerides spin doctor to be ushered into the cauldron of Cyprus problem politics in six months.

    His predecessors, Costas Serezis and Christos Stylianides, were ill- equipped to ride the tide of sleaze allegations and Machiavellian party politics that undermined their authority.

    Serezis was seen as an outsider unable to handle a rabid press pack who caught him out one time too many.

    He succeeded Stylianides, who though politically more astute, felt he could no longer defend a lame government lacking the guts to sack controversial Interior Minister Dinos Michaelides.

    But the new boy on the block is a forthright politician who commands respect from knowing hacks.

    His assured performance on the podium at yesterday's 45-minute briefing payed testament to that.

    Although journalists gave him a little slack on his first day, the questions came thick and fast.

    Papapetrou faced even the most awkward and persistent hacks with a firm hand, defusing any potentially explosive situations with a no-nonsense stare.

    Whereas Serezis was pure bonhomie in fetching beige double-breasted jackets and carefully manicured appearance, Papapetrou entered with sober grey power suit and seriously side-parted hair, which immediately set the mood.

    And any journalists expecting that free lunch from the spokesman will know exactly what to avoid ordering.

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    Wednesday, August 27, 1999

    [05] Papapetrou defends government's Cyprus problem stance

    By Jean Christou

    NEWLY-appointed government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou yesterday fended off criticism stemming from Wednesday's cabinet reshuffle.

    Papapetrou was responding to reports yesterday that giving a key position -- that of government spokesman -- to a member of the minority United Democrats was handing too much power to the party of former President George Vassiliou.

    New Horizons said the move was one step nearer to having Vassiliou as the next presidential candidate.

    There was also a complaint that Vassiliou's and Clerides' policies on the Cyprus problem were not compatible.

    But Papapetrou said the two men had the same approach to the national issue, which has also prompted opposition leaders to worry about the direction in which policy might be headed.

    "The President has not changed his policy," Papapetrou said.

    "It is this same policy which was the one that got the support of two political parties and got him into government."

    "When Mr Vassiliou was President, some people said he was implementing the policies of Mr Clerides and now that Mr Clerides is President the some people are saying he is implementing the policies of Mr Vassiliou. I think basically that these things are labels that don't stick. The essence is that the two of them have the same philosophy on the Cyprus problem and all decisions are taken by Mr Clerides."

    Papapetrou said Clerides had made moves in all directions in his quest to form a broader-based government, but there had been no response from other parties.

    He added that it was the President's aim to build bridges with the other parties because the Cyprus problem was going through a difficult phase.

    Commenting on statements made on Wednesday by former US Cyprus envoy Richard Holbrooke -- now the US ambassador at the UN -- Papapetrou said the government appreciated the American diplomat's recognition that the Turkish side was intransigent.

    "Holbrooke acknowledges the intransigent side, and indirectly gives the direction in which the US administration will move," Papapetrou said.

    Speaking by telephone link, Holbrooke told a meeting of Overseas Cypriots in Nicosia that "the other side has caused so many problems and has been intransigent".

    The US envoy also said he would remain actively engaged in the Cyprus issue if the other side showed a willingness to move in one of the number of directions discussed.

    Papapetrou said the government believed the US should direct its efforts towards Ankara to persuade it to abandon its intransigent position.

    "We wish to see things being led in this direction and we shall judge moves by their outcome," he said, adding that efforts would have to be intensified before any such results could be seen.

    He said this was the only thing that would pave the way towards a solution.

    UN Secretary-general Kofi Annan is expected shortly to issue invitations to the two sides to return to direct talks. The Turkish side has tried to set preconditions relating to recognition and confederation, which the Greek Cypriot side says it will never accept.

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    Wednesday, August 27, 1999

    [06] New defence minister prepares visit to Greece

    By Jean Christou

    NEWLY-appointed Defence Minister Socrates Hasikos said yesterday discussions were under way for his first official visit to Greece.

    Speaking to journalists before a meeting at National Guard headquarters, Hasikos said he had already spoken by phone with his Greek counterpart Akis Tzohatzopoulos.

    During his swearing-in ceremony on Wednesday, Hasikos pledged to do all he could to strengthen the 1993 defence dogma with Greece.

    "Our position remains the same. We support the strengthening of our defence within the framework of the joint defence pact," Hasikos said.

    He dismissed criticism that he was not the best man for the job because of reports that he did not fully support the dogma.

    Hasikos also inspected the troops during his visit to the National Guard headquarters yesterday.

    Meanwhile Turkish Cypriot newspapers reported yesterday that the Turkish army in the north would be restructured. Turkey has some 35,000 troops in the occupied areas.

    The announcement was made at a ceremony in Kyrenia to hand over command of the army from Lieutenant General Aydin Sen, to Major General Sukru Sariisik.

    Sen said the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot forces would be restructured shortly to become more modern and more powerful.

    He said the restructuring would primarily affect promotion, appointment and training of Security Forces Command officers and noncommissioned officers under military service regulations.

    The political struggle, he said, was far more difficult, multifaceted and multidimensional than the military struggle.

    He added that the countries whose ambition it was to shape the world had interests in the eastern Mediterranean "that intersect and clash" over the island. He said these interests coincided with the policy of ceding Cyprus "to a more tractable Greece".

    "Instead of recognising an opportunity for the countries involved in the dispute to reach an agreement through talks, the EU is wrapping an imposed solution in a welfare package and presenting the island (to Greece) on a golden platter," Sen said.

    "The Turkish Cypriots have always proved that they are the children of a noble nation that instead of living wealthy but dependent, prefer to live with honour, dignity, freedom and independence under their own flag."

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    Wednesday, August 27, 1999

    [07] Disy Larnaca executive resigns

    Why is Larnaca not represented in government?

    By Jean Christou

    DISY'S Larnaca executive committee has resigned en massein a fit of pique because none of the ministers appointed in this week's reshuffle was from the town.

    Tryfon Erotokritou, Larnaca district Secretary of Disy, said a letter of protest had already been sent to party leader Nicos Anastassiades.

    "Once again our town stays out of the cabinet," he said. "Unfortunately this is not an isolated incident but rather the continuation of an established tactic," Erotokritou said.

    "Larnaca is facing thousands of difficult problems and the inclusion of one Larnaca man -- and we don't see it as a personality issue -- would have enabled Larnaca's problems to be highlighted".

    It was hoped that Disy deputy Andreas Mouskos would be appointed as Communications and Works Minister in place of Leontios Ierodiaconou. The post went instead to Paphos Disy deputy Averof Neophytou.

    "Larnaca is justified in reacting," Mouskos told state radio yesterday.

    "There is indeed a displeasure among Larnaca residents because of the non solution of the problems of our town. I'd like to believe that with the resignation of the district committee of my party that the right messages will be given."

    The issue was due to be examined at a meeting of party executives at Disy head office last night.

    Government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said yesterday that President Clerides had chosen his new cabinet for political, not geographical reasons.

    Larnaca man Costas Eliades served as Defence Minister under the Clerides government from 1993 to 1997 and Christoforos Christoforou, also from Larnaca, served as Education Minister under the previous government of George Vassiliou.

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    Wednesday, August 27, 1999

    [08] Government promises extra cash for special quake teams

    PROMPTED by a series of tremors that have jolted Cyprus since August 11, the Council of Ministers has raised to a million pounds funds set aside for the purchase of specialised search and rescue equipment for disaster relief teams.

    Interior Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou also announced yesterday that the cabinet had decided to set up specialised civil defence search and rescue teams.

    With the number of aftershocks following the August 11 earthquake nearing 200, the minister gave assurances that all appropriate government services were fully prepared for any eventuality.

    The disastrous quake which struck Turkey shortly after the Cyprus tremor has heightened public concern about possible disasters, prompting the cabinet to act.

    "It has been decided to increase the amount available for purchase of modern technological equipment for the detection and saving of lives in the event of disasters such as earthquakes," Christodoulou said.

    "An amount of 750,000 had already been approved and now the amount in the 2000 budget will be at least one million pounds", he added.

    He said he would be pulling out all the stops to implement the cabinet decision to create search and rescue teams as soon as possible.

    "I have already given instructions for procedures to be put into action," he said.

    By the end of September, he would be convening a meeting of all involved in setting up the teams to asses progress, he promised.

    Christodoulou also said the Cabinet had on Wednesday approved a 300,000 increase in the funds available for repairs to quake-damaged homes.

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    Wednesday, August 27, 1999

    [09] Zakaki residents plan anti-desalination protests

    By Martin Hellicar

    ZAKAKI residents are preparing a hot reception for government plans to build a mobile desalination plant in their suburb.

    On Wednesday, the cabinet decided to bite the bullet of strong local opposition and give the go-ahead for the unit.

    Agriculture Minister Costas Themistocleous insisted yesterday that desalination was necessary to meet Limassol's water supply needs. He repeated that plant plans would be amended and measures would be taken to ensure noise pollution was minimised, in an effort to appease Zakaki residents.

    But the Zakaki action committee, set up to fight desalination plant plans, remains unimpressed.

    Zakaki mayor Andreas Demetriades said the community would use "all means at its disposal" to block construction of the plant near the new Limassol port. He was giving nothing away about what action the committee planned but unconfirmed reports suggested Zakaki residents were prepared to block the entrance to Limassol port and the road to nearby Ladies' Mile beach.

    Demetriades said the suburb was already environmentally "compromised" due to the presence of the port.

    Limassol mayor, Demetris Kontides, who met with the Zakaki action committee yesterday, described the issue as "serious" and said it would be considered by the municipal council.

    The Zakaki action committee has already collected some 5,000 signatures on an anti-desalination plant petition.

    But the government sees desalination as the way out of the island's chronic water shortage problems.

    "Limassol needs the desalination unit if it is to have enough water for every resident to have water in their home on a 24-hour basis," Themistocleous said. "To do this we need a desalination unit producing 20, 000 cubic metres of water a day," he said.

    Low dam reserves have made 24-hour water provision a rarity for consumers.

    Themistocleous said the proposed plant would have no environmental impact to speak of.

    "An environmental impact study carried out recommends this unit be built in the Zakaki area, near the Limassol port," the minister said.

    The government has plans for another mobile plant at Ayios Theodoros in the Larnaca district and for a second "static" desalination unit outside Larnaca town. Local residents and environmentalists have objected to both proposals.

    An existing plant at Dhekelia supplies 40,000 cubic metres of fresh water a day.

    [10] Eight-session rally snaps amid renewed market tension

    By Hamza Hendawi

    THE MARKET'S latest rally, an uninterrupted eight-session run of record highs that saw the all-share index rise by as much as 24.78 per cent since August 16, came to an end yesterday when shares dipped by 1.81 per cent with losses in all seven sub-indices.

    The all-share index closed at 363.42 points, while volume stood at a decent 35.65 million.

    Yesterday's session was held amid renewed tension between brokers and the Cyprus Stock Exchange authorities following the suspension of a brokerage that failed to meet a deadline for clearing overdue transactions.

    A morning meeting between the exchange and brokers' representatives, according to news reports, succeeded in avoiding a repeat of Monday's events when brokers staged an impromptu strike to protest the suspension of three brokerages.

    Yesterday's events, however, underlined the tug-of-war that exists between the brokers and the market authorities over the thorny issue of the backlog of transactions. Traders blame the introduction of an automated trading system in early May for the backlog, saying the market should have first established a central depository and clearance system. Bourse officials argue that the brokerages are reluctant to spend money on hiring and training new staff to handle the increasing volume.

    The Popular Bank, which is scheduled to announce its six-monthly results early next month, notched up 2.50 cents in yesterday's trade to close at 10.46. Hellenic Bank's dazzling run of late came to what may be a temporary halt, shedding 1.10 to close at 13.80. Hellenic, which recently made two insurance acquisitions, is heading for a four-for-one share split next month and has been heavily traded in the run-up.

    Trade in the two banks, plus that in the small Universal Savings, amounted to 10.63 million.

    Newcomer Louis Cruise Lines', once the stuff of dreams but now languishing deep in the below-expectation territory, had another bad day, finishing down 21 cents to close at 2.33. News earlier this week of a lucrative lease of one of its liners to a French-based operator appeared to have had no positive impact on the share, giving credence to the belief among investors that the damage done by the negative publicity surrounding the title was more serious than the company would like the public to think.

    Two of the company's top executives sold a substantial number of shares and warrants on the first day the titles hit the market and it was later disclosed that the company gave shares to political parties in its private placement, raising a furore in the media and raising questions on whether ties between the island's politicians and big businesses were too cosy.

    Louis warrants were also down yesterday, closing at 1.92, down by 11.50 cents on Wednesday's close.

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    Wednesday, August 27, 1999

    [11] Soldiers held over disappearing hand grenades

    THREE further suspects were yesterday remanded in custody in connection with the recent disappearance of hand grenades from an army store.

    A crate of thirty hand-grenades went missing from a Nicosia area National Guard camp some time between August 19 and 24.

    Two 20-year-old National Guardsmen from Limassol -- Theodotos Theodotou and Vasilis Vasiliou -- were arrested on Monday and remanded by a military court the following day. Police say they have confessed to stealing the explosives with the intention of selling them on.

    On Wednesday, two more National Guardsmen were arrested in connection with the same case. Pelopides Kareklas and Costas Christoforou, both 19 from Limassol, were yesterday brought up before a military court in Nicosia and remanded for eight days.

    Also yesterday, police arrested 22-year-old Anastasios Christodoulou in connection with the theft.

    Christodoulou, from Ayia Fyla outside Limassol, was later brought up before Limassol District court and remanded for eight days.

    The court heard Christodoulou had handed five grenades over to police.

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    Wednesday, August 27, 1999

    [12] Tourists held after police find cocktail of drugs

    FOUR tourists were yesterday remanded on suspicion of illegal possession of hard drugs.

    Britons Natasha Wright, 26, Mark Lambi, 26, and Errol Gordon, 34, and Ghanaian Joseph Jacobs, 43, were arrested following drug squad searches of their Ayia Napa hotel apartments on Wednesday. They were brought up before the Famagusta District court in Larnaca yesterday morning.

    Police told the court officers had found ecstasy tablets, cocaine and hashish in the flats searched. The suspects had subsequently confessed to buying the drugs in Ayia Napa square, police said.

    The police search, carried out following a tip-off, turned up two ecstasy tablets in Wright's bag, a single ecstasy tablet in Gordon's wardrobe, an ecstasy tablet and a small sachet of hashish among Jacobs' personal belongings and half a gramme of cocaine in Lambi's trouser pocket, the court heard.

    Gordon apparently told police he bought the ecstasy tablet for 15.

    Police told the court they were searching for the pushers who sold the drugs to the tourists. The Drug squad believe they are on the trail of a gang supplying illegal drugs for parties at specific Ayia Napa nightspots.

    The court approved the remand of all four suspects for six days.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999

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