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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 00-08-27

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Sunday, August 27, 2000


  • [01] Bases to charge 10 after nude beach frolics
  • [02] Passengers hijack CY jet in Athens
  • [03] No tanks, say Larnaca protesters
  • [04] Bomb attack on councillor
  • [05] New law will combat cyber crime
  • [06] Chef remanded after drugs find
  • [07] Two admit to torching symbol of wine festival
  • [08] Fire-fighters on alert for Greece
  • [09] Sun-chasing Britons head for Cyprus

  • [01] Bases to charge 10 after nude beach frolics

    By Jean Christou

    TEN PEOPLE, six men and four women, caught frolicking nude on a public beach in British bases territory on Friday afternoon will on Tuesday be charged with indecent exposure.

    Two members of the same group, both men, will be also charged with indecent sexual conduct, bases spokesman Rob Need told the Sunday Mail yesterday.

    Need said the group, arrested around 5pm on Friday at a beach near Avdhimou within the western Sovereign Base Area (SBA) of Episkopi, comprised six Cypriot men, three English women married to Cypriots, and one Bulgarian woman.

    He refused to give any details on the arrested group because they have not yet been charged.

    "This is a popular public beach," Need said. He said bases police might have acted on a tip-off or a complaint by another member of the public. "Police went to the scene and observed for some time," he added.

    Eight of the ten were released on bail shortly after their arrest, but the two men who were publicly engaging in sexual activity were detained for further questioning. They were later released on bail, Need said.

    He said the ten might not have to appear in court because they can be charged at the SBA police station.

    If charged on Tuesday, the eight nude sunbathers face fines of £80 each but the other two men, in addition to a fine for nudity, also face five years in jail, Need said.

    British bases laws mirror those of the Republic, which until two years ago outlawed any type of homosexual activity under legislation which itself was a throwback to colonial times.

    After a five-year battle with the European Court of Human Rights, Cyprus was forced to change the law and has now decriminalised gay sex in private between consenting adults but retained legislation on all other aspects of homosexual activity.

    [<a href="letters0827.htm">Talking Point</a>]

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 2000

    Sunday, August 27, 2000

    [02] Passengers hijack CY jet in Athens

    By Jean Christou

    ANGRY Greek Cypriot passengers clashed with police and airport officials in Athens early yesterday after hijacking a Cyprus Airways (CY) plane on the tarmac in an attempt to stop the Paphos-bound flight being diverted to Larnaca.

    A well-known Paphos businessman, whom CY says it may now blacklist, allegedly instigated the ruckus, which delayed the scheduled midnight flight until 5am.

    Paphos-bound passengers became angry when they were told an earlier technical problem, which had already delayed the flight for two hours, meant the aircraft would now fly direct to Larnaca.

    The scheduled route was Athens-Paphos-Larnaca, but the Airbus A310 captain did not want to risk two landings. The Paphos travellers were told that CY would arrange their transport home by bus, a two-hour drive from Larnaca.

    According to Cyprus Airways spokesman Tassos Angelis, an irate large group from the 240 passengers, led by the unnamed Paphos man and three or four others, surrounded the plane, blocked the doorway, called a Greek engineer a fool, and clashed with police summoned to the scene by civil aviation officials.

    "This was a hijacking," Angelis told the Sunday Mail yesterday. "They surrounded the plane and hindered its movements."

    Angelis said that before the flight was due to leave Athens at midnight, a high-loader servicing the plane had caused some minor damage which took two hours to repair.

    The CY captain and the Greek engineer decided the plane should travel direct to Larnaca in the interests of safety, Angelis said.

    "But some people from Paphos, one in particular, thought they knew better than the captain, called the Greek engineer a fool and said they would not let the plane take off," Angelis said. "They were standing in the doorways and then the police intervened and then the civil aviation intervenedľ "

    At the same time as the fracas was going on the aircraftís crew was being pressured by Greek authorities to get the Airbus moving.

    Angelis said that in the end the captain told anyone who did not want to fly to stay behind in Athens. He said around 70 passengers chose that option and were put up at an Athens hotel at the companyís expense.

    To add insult to injury, the airline had to re-route its flight from Zurich yesterday to pick them up. Angelis said the entire incident cost the airline thousands of pounds.

    "This was totally unacceptable behaviour," Angelis said. "It is not their business to decide what the captain of an aircraft will do where safety is concerned. We wonít accept it, and we will not hesitate to blacklist anyone."

    [<a href="letters0827.htm">Talking Point</a>]

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Sunday, August 27, 2000

    [03] No tanks, say Larnaca protesters

    AROUND 20 members of the Larnaca Progressive Movement held a march yesterday to protest against government plans to spend $40 million on upgrading the islandís oil refinery instead of building new petrol storage tanks somewhere other than the Larnaca shore.

    The protest started at 11am at Acropolis Square at the centre of the town and finished at the Municipal Square where a petition addressed to President Glafcos Clerides and the Council of Ministers was read.

    The movement said it would not accept upgrading of the refinery, or the addition of even one more storage tank.

    "We declare our determination to thwart any new investments aiming at upgrading the refinery," a statement said.

    The Larnaca Progressive Movement, comprising some 200 residents, says the tanks and the refinery are an eyesore and a source of noxious fumes.

    They present a danger to nearby residents and are an obstacle to developing the beach between Dhekelia and Larnaca, the movement believes.

    [<a href="letters0827.htm">Talking Point</a>]

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Sunday, August 27, 2000

    [04] Bomb attack on councillor

    A BOMB explosion yesterday morning caused extensive damage to the car of a Limassol area municipal councillor.

    The device was placed on the bonnet of Ypsonas councillor Michalakis Eliadesí car, which was parked outside his house.

    The 4.35am blast was caused by a homemade high-explosive bomb, police said.

    Eliades said those behind the attack could be disgruntled Ypsonas residents.

    [<a href="letters0827.htm">Talking Point</a>]

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Sunday, August 27, 2000

    [05] New law will combat cyber crime

    CYPRUS is drafting legislation to fight computer crime and Internet porn as part of its EU harmonisation process, a police official said yesterday.

    The legislation is expected to be in force by the middle of next year.

    "We are drafting legislation on cyber crime generally," said George Panayiotou, an official at the police research department.

    A special committee within the Justice Ministry is preparing the legislation.

    Panayiotou said current legislation is adequate to cover Internet crime in cases involving fraud and sleaze, but the new law will be more specific.

    So far, he said, no one in Cyprus has ever been arrested or charged with any sort of cyber crime, and it is too early to say where the legislation would draw the line as far as the invasion of privacy is concerned.

    Panayiotou said he could not confirm recent reports Interpol had asked Cyprus police to investigate the circulation of child pornography material on the Internet.

    [<a href="letters0827.htm">Talking Point</a>]

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Sunday, August 27, 2000

    [06] Chef remanded after drugs find

    A LEBANESE chef was yesterday remanded in custody for eight days after he was arrested at Larnaca airport for allegedly trying to smuggle drugs hidden inside his body and in a box of pastries.

    Hadi Artour Ornita arrived on the island on Friday on a 1.30pm flight from Beirut.

    The court heard the 36-year-old man attracted police attention the moment he disembarked from the plane because he was sweating excessively and was using a towel to wipe his face.

    Police searched the man and allegedly found 100 grams of cocaine, packed in small plastic bags and hidden at the bottom of a box of baklava.

    Investigating officer Makis Panayiotou told the court the suspect later admitted he had more drugs hidden in his body.

    He also told police that he planned to give the package to a woman who was supposed to be waiting for him at the airport.

    He was led to Larnaca hospital where, with the help of laxative, Ornita passed 140 grams of heroin in two plastic bags.

    Panayiotou said police were seeking Ornitaís accomplices in Cyprus and Lebanon.

    [<a href="letters0827.htm">Talking Point</a>]

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Sunday, August 27, 2000

    [07] Two admit to torching symbol of wine festival

    By George Psyllides

    TWO men have admitted setting fire to the symbol of the Limassol wine festival, a six-metre-high effigy of a wine maker in traditional dress at the entrance to the Limassol municipal gardens.

    The figure was destroyed in the fire ahead of the wine festival that starts on Tuesday, police said yesterday.

    The duo, Angelos Michail, 25, from Linopetra, and 18-year-old Michalis Meli from Ayios Athanassios, were arrested after they were seen loitering in the area just before the blaze.

    The Limassol district court heard that Michail named Meli as the one who set the figure on fire while he was waiting for him on the getaway motorcycle.

    The two men waited for the gardenís guard, who is understood to be their friend, to turn his back and then set the effigy on fire.

    Police said the pair had told their friend that they would torch the effigy to prove that he was not doing his job properly.

    The two were remanded in custody for three days.

    A municipal crew started working immediately to replace the £15,000 figure which has become the symbol of the annual Limassol wine festival.

    It was the second time in three years that the effigy had been targeted by arsonists.

    The first time it was set alight was in August 1997.

    [<a href="letters0827.htm">Talking Point</a>]

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Sunday, August 27, 2000

    [08] Fire-fighters on alert for Greece

    TEAMS of Cypriot fire-fighters have been placed on alert awaiting their transport to Greece to provide assistance to their Greek counterparts, the Fire Service said yesterday.

    Thirty fire-fighters have been notified to be ready pending the green light from Greek authorities.

    Seven people have been killed and dozens of homes have been gutted in Greece by the fires that have been raging since Thursday.

    [<a href="letters0827.htm">Talking Point</a>]

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Sunday, August 27, 2000

    [09] Sun-chasing Britons head for Cyprus

    CYPRUS is among the top three destinations thousands of Britons are heading for to escape a wet Bank Holiday weekend.

    On Friday an estimated 210,000 travellers went through Londonís Heathrow Airport, with another 590,000 more expected to leave Britain over the weekend.

    Most are headed for weekend breaks in Paris and Amsterdam, but Florida was the number one choice overall.

    Longer-term holidaymakers were heading for Cyprus, Turkey and Majorca, PA news agency reported.

    Some 1.2 million tourists from the UK visited Cyprus, a traditional favourite for Britons, out of a total tourist flow of 2.4 million last year.

    Tourism officials expect numbers from the UK to increase by more than 10 per cent for 2000.

    AN ISRAELI man and his 26-year-old daughter were lucky to be alive yesterday after their hire car was rammed by a truck while it was stopped on the hard shoulder of the Nicosia to Limassol motorway near the village of Kophinou.

    Although the two were seriously injured in the crash their condition was described by police as "not life-threatening".

    The manís wife, who was not in the car at the time of the accident, escaped with no physical injury but suffered a nervous breakdown.

    Fifty-year-old Jacob Raiman stopped his rental car on the hard shoulder of the motorway after it broke down at 11am.

    It is understood that the car had been stopped well clear of the yellow line marking the boundary of the road.

    While his wife Verod, 49, tried to flag-down passing vehicles for help, Jacob and his daughter Jasmin remained in the car, apparently trying to start it.

    At that point and under circumstances which are still being investigated by police, a refrigerated truck slammed into the car and shunted it for 50 metres down the motorway.

    Jacob and his daughter were trapped in a serious condition in the mangled wreckage, and his wife Verod suffered a nervous breakdown after witnessing the crash.

    Jacob and Jasmine were rushed to hospital in Larnaca after they were freed from the wrecked car by the fire department.

    [<a href="letters0827.htm">Talking Point</a>]

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

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