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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 00-10-01

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Sunday, October 01, 2000


  • [01] National Guard firepower on parade
  • [02] Let’s think of future generations, says Clerides
  • [03] Freed Ecstasy suspects ‘beaten in custody’
  • [04] £222m to be spent on improving rural areas
  • [05] Hunt for ‘illegal’ suspect who escaped from police
  • [06] Tourist ‘attacked after beef about bad food’
  • [07] 2000 Good Reasons to March

  • [01] National Guard firepower on parade

    By Staff Reporter

    A MILITARY parade commemorating the island’s 40th Independence Day will take place in Nicosia today.

    Beginning at 11am in Troodos Avenue near the IMC building, the parade will be watched by President Glafcos Clerides, Defence Minister Socrates Hasikos, National Guard chief Evangelos Florakis, and other dignitaries.

    On parade will be many of the National Guard’s high technology armaments, including Russian TOR-M1 anti-aircraft missiles, and displays by men and women of the Army, Navy and Air Force branches of the National Guard.

    This evening the Cyprus first family holds its annual Independence Day open house from 7pm to 9pm at the Presidential Palace. All are welcome to attend.

    Sunday, October 01, 2000

    [02] Let’s think of future generations, says Clerides

    By Athena Karsera

    PRESIDENT Glafcos Clerides has given assurances that the Greek Cypriot side will never agree to a confederal solution. Speaking on the occasion of Independence Day, Clerides continued: “A federal, united, demilitarised Cyprus incorporated into the European Union, whose common foreign and security policy it will follow consistently, will serve the vital interests of all, including those of Greece and Turkey.”

    He said every effort was being made in that direction by the Greek Cypriot side for this type of solution to be found as soon as possible, and that invasion and its faits accomplis would never be accepted.

    Clerides said that this year’s Independence Day was taking place during a time of United Nations-led talks on the Cyprus problem. “We hope this concurrence will be a good omen for breaking the impasse and lead to a solution,” he said.

    He said that the Greek Cypriot side was participating constructively in the talks and that, “if the Turkish side maintains a similar stand it will not be long before we have a solution.” But that this could only happen if international pressure were brought to bear on Turkey, he added.

    Clerides also thanked the Greek government for is help under the Joint Defence Pact, “particularly for the dispatch of military equipment”.

    He called on all Greek Cypriots and political forces to unite and strive for a peaceful solution to the Cyprus problem, saying “We are too few to be divided.”

    “To the Turkish Cypriot community I send a message of sincere co-operation in the effort to find a peaceful solution of the Cyprus problem, one which will benefit both communities equally in all areas.”

    He also called on the Turkish Cypriots to co-operate in Cyprus’ EU negotiations to “create a better future for the new generations of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots”.

    Clerides said that these benefits would be seen in all aspects of life in the island, providing “a future which will safeguard respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. Let us think of our children more than of ourselves.”

    Sunday, October 01, 2000

    [03] Freed Ecstasy suspects ‘beaten in custody’

    By Jennie Matthew

    FOUR Swedish men charged with possessing Ecstasy were acquitted on Thursday on the grounds of insufficient evidence, and there have been charges that they were mistreated in police custody.

    Twenty-one-year-old Peter Ericsson and Giuseppe Mango, Kevin Sabban and Tomas Johnson, all 19, were charged with possession of the class A drug after 20 pills were found in their rented apartment and another eight pills were discovered hidden in their rented moped.

    The four from Stockholm were all on holiday in Ayia Napa.

    They pleaded not guilty and the trial was adjourned. They were released on bail and transferred to a hotel, while the prosecution and defence prepared their cases.

    The Swedes complained that they were browbeaten into confessing to possession. One of the four claims a police sergeant stubbed a cigarette out on his arm. They also complained that the police slapped them.

    Swedish journalist Eva Boss and the men’s lawyer, Antonis Georgiades, attested to seeing one small red burn mark on the man’s arm.

    “They said that they had been beaten by the police into making a confession, and it’s not the first time I’ve heard this,” Boss told the Sunday Mail.

    “I met an English man who said he’s lost teeth, and others accused of rape who said they’d been beaten,” she added.

    During the trial the police sergeant accused of inflicting the cigarette burn denied the allegations.

    Boss said that the men’s first lawyer was dismissed after allegedly trying to make them plead guilty.

    Nicosia barrister Antonis Georgiades took on the case and the four were acquitted six weeks later.

    After the prosecution and defence presented their arguments, the court declared it impossible to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the men were in knowing possession of, not just physical custody of, the Ecstasy tablets.

    Twenty pills were found in a zipped pocket of a bag that three of the men admitted to using.

    Another eight pills were discovered in an enclosed compartment under the seat of a moped hired by two and used by all four of the men.

    “And physical custody is not enough to convict, without that element of knowledge of possession,” Georgiades told the Sunday Mail.

    “The court couldn’t safely say to whom the drugs belonged,” he added. “The concept of possession can be elusive and has troubled Cypriot and British courts.”

    Drug Squad chief Christakis Katsikides said yesterday he was unable to comment about the case, without seeing the full details of the report.

    Cyprus follows a stringent anti-drugs policy and operates strict sentencing for those found guilty of possession and trafficking.

    But journalists have slammed the conduct of the Cypriot authorities. The men were kept in a hotel for six weeks. The taxpayer will meet their accommodation costs, legal fees and the expenses of the prosecution.

    Inspector Panayiotis Panayiotou from Police Headquarters yesterday told the Sunday Mail that police officers guilty of violence towards suspects are punished by the police force and liable to be tried in court.

    He said he was unaware of this particular case.

    Sunday, October 01, 2000

    [04] £222m to be spent on improving rural areas

    By Athena Karsera

    INTERIOR Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou yesterday outlined three special five-

    year plans to help solve problems with Cyprus’ rural area road network, water works and sewage system.

    Speaking in Paphos, Christodoulou said that visits to the countryside during his ministerial term had so far had led him to conclude that, “the rural areas of Cyprus are plagued by serious problems” which require immediate attention if the rural lifestyle is to be maintained on the island.

    He said the Council of Ministers had on August 30 approved plans to improve conditions in rural areas; this would cost the state £222 million and include resurfacing the countryside’s road network, replacing the water works system and setting up sewage-

    processing facilities.

    “The three specialised plans foresee the improvements made in stages over the next five years in order of priority,” Christodoulou said, noting that improved red-tape cutting procedures would prevent the work from taking longer.

    “Based on a new realistic and groundbreaking policy we have adopted, the benefits will be clearly demonstrated in the implementation of the five- year plans and will add to our efforts to maintain the countryside and its population.”

    He said the new approach, although he did not give specific details, would also help resolve problems that had prevented the countryside’s development for decades. “The three plans will also create the necessary framework, mostly in the mountain areas, for the development of agrotourism,” he said.

    Independently of these plans, the Paphos district villages of Emba, Chlorakas, Kissonerga, Lemba, Konia, Koloni and Acheleia will be connected to Paphos Sewage Board lines.

    Sewage-processing arrangements are also being made for 13 other villages in the Nicosia district.

    Sunday, October 01, 2000

    [05] Hunt for ‘illegal’ suspect who escaped from police

    By Staff Reporter

    LIMASSOL police were yesterday still hunting for a 28-year-old suspected illegal immigrant who escaped from custody on Friday afternoon.

    Firoyzkarai Baba, from Iran, was arrested at 11.30am on Friday on suspicion of staying in and entering the free areas from the occupied north.

    Police say he flew into north Cyprus from Turkey in June and crossed to the government-

    controlled area a few days later.

    At 6.20pm on Friday the man was taken to the exercise yard of the main police station at his request. He then jumped over the wall with the adjacent First Technical School and disappeared from sight. Police officers chased him and patrol cars scanned the streets, but they were unable to find him.

    Baba is described as dark, with short straight black hair, 1.80 metres tall, and of regular build.

    He was last seen wearing beige Bermuda shorts, a distinctive yellow T-shirt with black horizontal stripes, and sandals. He has a scar on his left knee.

    Limassol CID are appealing to anyone with information about the escape to contact them.

    Sunday, October 01, 2000

    [06] Tourist ‘attacked after beef about bad food’

    By Staff Reporter

    POLICE are investigating a complaint from a 23-year-old British tourist that restaurant staff attacked and injured him after he complained about the food on an evening out with his parents in Protaras.

    The incident was reported to have happened on Friday night. Sean Scarsbrook was taken to a clinic in Paralimni for treatment injuries to his foot. No arrests have yet been made.

    Sunday, October 01, 2000

    [07] 2000 Good Reasons to March

    By Staff Reporter

    REPRESENTATIVES from women’s groups were yesterday hoping to collect 10,000 signatures ahead of their trip to New York for the World March of Women 2000.

    The signatures were being collected on huge postcards, addressed to UN Secretary-

    general Kofi Annan.

    Under the banner ‘2000 Good Reasons to March’, the cards call for the elimination of poverty and violence against women, the fair distribution of wealth around the planet, and sexual equality.

    Some 5,000 women from 157 participating countries are expected to take part.

    Christina Demetriadou, president of POGO, the left-wing women’s movement, will join political delegates from each country to meet Annan.

    The UN chief will be represented with a headscarf carrying the names of the Greek Cypriot missing since 1974.

    “Of course I’m looking forward to it. I think it will be a very good experience and a very big march,” Sotirou Charalambous, women’s secretary of the Pancyprian Federation of Labour, told the Sunday Mail.

    Women’s organisations, political groups, trade unions and the women’s refugees associations will be among those going to New York.

    The Cypriot delegation will also use the march and various workshops to highlight the plight of the island’s Turkish occupation.

    The women will leave Larnaca for New York on October 14. The march takes place on October 17.

    Two delegates will also march in the European Women’s March in Brussels on October 14.

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