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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 01-05-24

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <http://www.cyprus-mail.com/>


Thursday, May 24, 2001

CONTENTS

  • [01] Extract of the court ruling:
  • [02] CTO must prove major improvement if TV to show to correct programme
  • [03] Court rejects Turkish Cypriot's vote plea
  • [04] Election results online as they happen
  • [05] Prisoner freed by appeal court
  • [06] Scottish girl found after police appeal
  • [07] Ministry tries to ward off pilots' strike
  • [08] Prison would overflow if we jailed all debtors
  • [09] Man killed in Limassol crash

  • [01] Extract of the court ruling:

    The following is the portion of yesterday's European Court of Human Rights ruling referring to the account of ill-treatment at the hands of Greek Cypriot police given by Turkish Cypriot Ilker Deninzi on September 12, 1994.

    -- In February 1991 the applicant, who had previously been living in the northern part of Cyprus, moved to the territories under the control of the Republic of Cyprus, where he worked as a builder until June 1992. There he was under strict surveillance by the Cypriot police. His movements were monitored and at certain times, he was taken to the police headquarters where he was severely beaten and intimidated. When it was found that he was working at Ayia Napa the police ordered him to leave his work, beat him and threatened to kill him if he did not leave the territories under the control of the Republic of Cyprus. On 12 June 1992 the applicant returned to northern Cyprus and on March 4, 1994 he crossed over again to the territories under the control of the Republic of Cyprus. He first went to Larnaca and a few days later to Limassol. He started to work as a builder at Aghrodimou village within the British military base of Akrotiri.

    -- On April 4, 1994 at about 7.30am, two Cypriot policemen, believed to be attached to the Cyprus Intelligence Services (CIS), came to the applicant's place of work and ordered him to come with them. The applicant was forced into a car and taken to Limassol police headquarters, believed to be that of the CIS.

    -- There, he was interrogated about the murder in Nicosia of Theophilos Georgiades, the desk officer responsible for Turkish affairs at the Cypriot Public Information Office who had been killed on March 20, 1994 by unknown persons.

    -- The applicant was then taken to Nicosia police station in the vicinity of Paphos gate, a two-storey building believed to be the central headquarters of the CIS. There he was insulted and beaten by 8-9 policemen for about 20 minutes. He was then blindfolded and taken to the police headquarters in the Troodos/Kambos area. At these headquarters two uniformed policemen seated the applicant on a chair, the wrong way round, and handcuffed him. He was then interrogated for approximately one hour about the killing of Georgiades. During the interrogation, he was severely and continually beaten by hand and fist, received blows from an electrical baton and was hit several times with an olive-wood stick and a pistol butt. The two policemen left the applicant in a helpless state for about half an hour. Then they came back and forced him to sign and affix his fingerprint on a statement to the effect that he had no complaint about the Cypriot police and wanted to go to the northern part of Cyprus of his own will. When he refused, a club was pushed into his mouth pulling out one of his teeth. He then signed the statement. His identity card certifying that he was a citizen of Turkish origin of the Republic of Cyprus was seized by the policemen. Then he was put in a cell.

    -- On the same evening, at about 8 pm, four armed policemen blindfolded the applicant and put him in a car. After a 15-20 minute journey, the car stopped and the applicant was taken out of the car. When the blindfold was removed the applicant realised that he was in the middle of fortifications under the control of the Republic of Cyprus near the United Nations buffer- zone. The policemen made the applicant take off his shoes, started stamping on his toes, crushing and making them bleed, and then extinguished their burning cigarettes on them. They took the sum of 380 Cyprus pounds which the applicant had in his pocket. The policemen then pulled the applicant by the handcuffs, released them and pushed him into a dry riverbed and trained their guns at him. They told the applicant to follow the river to the north and said that if he returned they would shoot him.

    -- As the applicant had received blows on every part of his body, he could not walk. He crawled along the riverbed and reached the northern part of Cyprus.

    One of Deninzi's toes later developed gangrene and had to be amputated, the European Court of Human Rights decision adds.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [02] CTO must prove major improvement if TV to show to correct programme

    By Jean Christou

    THE PRODUCERS of the British holiday programme Wish You Were Here, whose report on Limassol road works has caused uproar among hoteliers, have promised to make a correction if the government can prove there has been a substantial improvement in the situation.

    Senior Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) official Lefkos Phylactides told the Cyprus Mail yesterday that the CTO's London office had been in touch with ITV, the producers of the show, which was filmed a month ago.

    The airing of the programme on Monday night provoked hundreds of calls to UK tour operators, to hotels in the Amathus area where the work is ongoing, and to the CTO's London office -which took some 500 calls in the 24 hours after the show. Some British tourists also requested cancellations or changes of destination within Cyprus.

    "They said that if we can prove there has been a major improvement in the situation since the time of shooting they will be prepared to make a correction if they are satisfied that the works are no longer a nuisance," Phylactides said.

    However, the CTO man admitted it would be difficult for the organisation to make a definitive statement on the issue as the works would not be finally completed until the end of this month, although hotels in the area say there has been an improvement.

    "That is different to saying there is no nuisance at all," he said.

    The CTO is meeting with the Ayios Tychonas local authority today to see what can be done to ease the situation for tourists and the five hotels affected and to try and convince local officials of the necessity of shielding tourists from road works.

    Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister Nicos Rolandis said he was very concerned over the issue of road works in tourist areas, but added it was not always the government, which was involved in the projects.

    "In some cases it's the local authorities and we can't stop it even if we intervene," he said. "We have raised this time and again but to no avail I'm sorry to say."

    Rolandis said that as far as the television programme was concerned, his Ministry had placed the issue in the hands of the CTO. "There will be a reaction to this," he said.

    One British man living in Limassol told the Cyprus Mail yesterday that several of his friends due to holiday in Cyprus from both the UK and Germany had asked his opinion on the situation.

    "They are getting conflicting stories," he said. "I told them that unless they wanted to walk through a load of dirt to get to the beach, they better change hotel."

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [03] Court rejects Turkish Cypriot's vote plea

    By a Staff Reporter

    THE SUPREME Court yesterday dismissed the case of a Turkish Cypriot demanding to be registered on the electoral list, but refused to give a reason why.

    The judgment was delivered at 11am, but the judges said the reason would be given on a separate occasion "in a short time", despite the fact that they have had six days to consider the verdict.

    Prosecution lawyer Sotiris Dracos was baffled by the ruling as it stood and in the dark as to when or how the reason would be conveyed.

    He told the Cyprus Mail it was the first time it had ever happened in a Cyprus court and was now gearing up to take the matter to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. The case was heard on May 17 and the prosecution argued that the current disenfranchisement of Turkish Cypriots in the free areas was inconsistent with the constitution.

    Dracos called on the judges to revert to the law of necessity, which allows temporary amendments to the constitution until a solution to the Cyprus problem is found.

    His client, who would like to stand for election to the House of Representatives, is prepared to vote across communal lines for a Greek Cypriot in order to exercise his democratic right to vote.

    But the state defence maintained that the constitution must be considered above all else. The Constitution only allows Turkish Cypriots to be registered on Turkish Cypriot electoral lists.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [04] Election results online as they happen

    By a Staff Reporter

    MEMBERS of the public can view the outcome of Sunday's Parliamentary elections on a government website, which will publish the results as they are released.

    Voters can log on to

    to find out which electoral centre they must go to in order to cast their vote. All they need to do is to type in their I.D number or their voting card number.

    Information about general results and about the first and second distribution of seats will be updated every five seconds.

    Electoral results in the Paphos district will be out first, at about 8 pm. The final percentages secured by each party will not be announced before 2am.

    The site also lists information about parties contesting the election, candidacies submitted, the electoral system and past parliamentary elections.

    The service is provided by the Election Service and the Press and Information Office in co-operation with Avacom Net Services and Vavel Net Media.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [05] Prisoner freed by appeal court

    By a Staff Reporter

    THE Appeal Court yesterday ruled that a man jailed for six years for bombing the Larnaca courthouse and an electricity sub-station was innocent of the crimes.

    Demetris Demetriou, alias Jimmys, was immediately released from prison, where he had spent around one-and-a-half years after being found guilty of carrying out the bombings.

    He was freed after the appeal court decided there were discrepancies in the testimonies of two witnesses.

    One of the witnesses had lied, the court said.

    Demetriou told reporters outside the prison that he was innocent, thanking Cypriot Justice for vindicating him.

    He left open a possibility of suing the Republic, but refused to give any more details before conferring with his lawyers.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [06] Scottish girl found after police appeal

    By Noah Haglund

    A SCOTTISH teenager thought to have gone missing in Cyprus nearly six months ago turned up on Tuesday night in a Yermasoyia pub, one day after police had appealed to the public to help locate her.

    Samantha Sarah Nesbitt, aged 17, who also goes by the name Samantha Stevenson, told police in a sworn statement on Tuesday night that "she has not suffered any abuse and she is in Cyprus by her own, free will."

    Samantha arrived in Cyprus on December 13, 2000, accompanied by her uncle, Stewart Stevenson, who also remains on the island.

    "At the beginning, she intended to stay in Cyprus for only a few weeks, but after she came she decided to stay longer," said Aristos Aristides, the CID sergeant who located the teenager on Tuesday night.

    "Before she left for Cyprus, she informed (British) social services and her school," the police sergeant told the Cyprus Mail.

    However, her relatives had not heard anything from her since December 27 last year, two weeks after she came to Cyprus.

    The case was reported by the British Welfare Department, which contacted to the police through the Cyprus High Commission and the Foreign Ministry.

    "I found her at pub after speaking to a friend," said Sergeant Aristides. The girl then went to the police station, accompanied by her uncle.

    "I talked with her for several hours," said the police sergeant. "She is happy here. I asked her if she had tried any drugs and she said she hadn't. I gave her my card and told her to contact me if she has any problems."

    Aristides added she was staying with some young friends also from Scotland at a flat in Limassol. The sergeant has also interviewed the owner of the flat, a Cypriot who formerly worked with the military, who reported the girl and her friends had not caused any problems.

    In her statement to police, Samantha said: "I had no contact in the world except for my uncles."

    He parents split up in 1986 when she was two and she thereafter lost contact with her father. Her mother died in July 1999 and her grandparents shortly afterwards, in December of the same year.

    "After the death of her mother, she decided to come to Cyprus for a break," said Aristides. However, after finding the island to her liking, she decided to stay on and quickly made friends.

    According to Aristides, Samantha used to frequent a pub near the Mariala hotel in Yermasoyia. "Everybody there loves this girl very much," remarked the CID sergeant, who had interviewed several pub patrons.

    According to the statement made to police, Samantha has enough money from the inheritance left her by her grandparents to live on in Cyprus. She is able to withdraw money from a bank account in Scotland with a credit card.

    Aristides also told the Cyprus Mail, "I don't think she was involved in prostitution. I have worked with police for 18 years and I can recognise girls who are involved in prostitution."

    As for the future, Aristides said Samantha planned to stay longer on the island. "She can continue her studies her in Cyprus if she wants," says Aristides, who added that according to Cypriot law, she was old enough to stay here on her own free will.

    Because her tourist visa is expired, the immigration department is trying to arrange for her to stay longer, he added.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [07] Ministry tries to ward off pilots' strike

    By a Staff Reporter

    EUROCYPRIA pilots have been summoned to the Communications and Works Ministry for an urgent meeting this morning in an attempt to ward off strike action due to begin at midnight tonight.

    Pilots have planned a 24-hour strike over the failure by Cyprus Airways (CY) to keep its promise to promote two of the charter firm's co-pilots to captain.

    If the strike by the charter firm goes ahead, hundreds of tourists will be inconvenienced as the summer season kicks in. Around ten flights to and from European destinations will be affected.

    Although CY has accepted an agreement drawn up by Labour Minister Andreas Moushiouttas in April, the company has not yet begun implementation of the agreement as it might force a reaction from the national carrier's own pilots' union PASIPY, which would ground the airline.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [08] Prison would overflow if we jailed all debtors

    By Rita Kyriakides

    ATTORNEY-general Alecos Markides warned yesterday that prisons would have to be extended if all debtors were to be jailed.

    Markides was responding to allegations by AKEL Spokesman Nikos Katsourides that police were prosecuting investors en masse in order for ministers to step in and 'save' them, thus winning their vote.

    "We can't send people to jail because they can't pay," Markides said. If debtors were all sent to jail, "prisons would need to be expanded to four times their current size" within just 15 days of such a crackdown.

    Markides added that ministers couldn't just intervene for cases to be suspended, a pardon has to be signed by the President in agreement with the Attorney-general's office.

    Chief of Police Andreas Angelides said the details of offences did not appear on summonses, and that subpoenas were not handled by police but by a private company selected by a tender procedure. Police have approached Katsourides to demand evidence of his allegations that they were targeting investors.

    AKEL mouthpiece Haravghi yesterday insisted the allegations were true and claimed that Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou had confirmed them.

    Police released a statement yesterday stating Papapetrou had not confirmed the allegations, but said that in 1998, when Angelides became police chief, there had been complaints from the lawyers' association over delays in issuing the subpoenas. At the time, Angelides had promised to sort out the backlog of cases.

    Angelides said he was saddened that the police have been drawn into an election wrangle and was expecting a correction from Haravghi.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [09] Man killed in Limassol crash

    By a Staff Reporter

    A 53-YEAR-old Limassol man was killed when a car hit his bike late on Tuesday night.

    The accident happened at 10.20pm when a car driven by a 19 year-old Greek national collided with the Andreas Metaxa's motorbike on 28th October Street in Limassol.

    Metaxa's bike was then run over by another car, trying to avoid the first vehicle.

    The two men in the second car were injured - one of them critically - when their car swerved into a tree to the left of the road.

    Metal debris from the collision injured 15-year-old Stella Ibrahim and her 10-year-old brother Theodoros, who were walking on the pavement at the time of the accident.

    The driver of the first car was arrested and has been remanded in custody for six days.

    In a separate incident, a 20-year-old Swiss tourist was seriously injured in Ayia Napa in the early hours of yesterday morning.

    At 4am, Andreas Petric and 21-year-old Patrick Lenherr were driving around on a motorbike, which swerved into oncoming traffic and collided with a car.

    Both tourists were taken to a clinic in Ayia Napa.

    Blood tests showed that Lenherr, who was slightly injured, was drunk at the time of the accident. Petric is in a serious condition after suffering a head injury. He was not wearing a helmet.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001


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