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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 01-07-15

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

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


Sunday, July 15, 2001

CONTENTS

  • [01] Patsalides marries the woman he was accused of trying to murder
  • [02] Autopsy report on boy delayed for a month
  • [03] House convenes to condemn the 1974 coup and invasion
  • [04] Four held after drugs bust
  • [05] Family demands compensation for trauma over missing person
  • [06] Neophytou blasts 'terrorist' CY pilots
  • [07] Summer sales start tomorrow

  • [01] Patsalides marries the woman he was accused of trying to murder

    By Martin Hellicar

    FORMER fugitive and shooting suspect Petros Patsalides yesterday married Christiana Andreou, the woman he was until a few months ago charged with trying to gun down outside a Nicosia nightclub.

    The unlikely couple tied the knot in a civil ceremony conducted in an office behind the bars of the Nicosia central prisons at 5pm.

    The 22-year-old bride was rushed into the prison compound in the wedding car shortly before 5pm, avoiding the waiting posse of photographers and television cameramen.

    She left the prison just over an hour later, and the couple will not get to consummate their union until after the shooting suspect is released from behind bars.

    Patsalides, 34, has been a remand prisoner at the Nicosia Central Prisons since late in February, when he gave himself up to police 18 days after he famously gave five officers the slip in the old part of Nicosia.

    The first hearing in his trial, on charges of shooting at Nicosia's Dow Jones club in the early hours of January 21, hitting two bystanders, is set for September 12 before the Nicosia Criminal court. Patsalides, a carpenter, denies the charges, but, if convicted, it could be years before he gets to share a bed with Andreou.

    “There was absolutely no reason not to allow him to marry,” prison governor Haris Themistocleous said when the wedding plans were announced in early May. He said it would not be the first time a prisoner had been granted permission to marry while still behind bars.

    But he said Petros and Christiana would get to enjoy a honeymoon or wedding night “only in their heads”. “Prisoner's wives can visit their husbands, but these are not conjugal visits,” the prison boss said.

    The nuptials represent a bizarre turn-around.

    Patsalides was originally charged with attempting to murder the woman who is now his wife. She was in the Dow Jones club at the time of the January shooting incident. Police said Patsalides had returned to the Dow Jones toting a machinegun after bouncers threw him out when he tried to drag Andreou, who was his former fiancée at the time, out of the club.

    But the attempted murder charges were dropped after Andreou began declaring her undying love for the man accused of trying to kill her. There were tearful scenes at the Nicosia courts as the suspect embraced his alleged target when Patsalides appeared for remand hearings in late February. This dashed state prosecution hopes that Andreou would testify against Patsalides in court, making an attempted murder conviction seem unlikely.

    Patsalides, from Nikitari in the Troodos foothills, still faces a number of charges relating to a machinegun attack on the Dow Jones. He and his co- accused, Andreas Christodoulou, face charges of injuring two Russian girls who were hit by bullets outside the club. They are also charged with illegally carrying and using an army-issue G3 automatic rifle.

    Patsalides and Christodoulou, 22, were arrested shortly after the January attack. But, on February 6, Patsalides gave a five-man police escort the slip in old Nicosia. He remained on the run for 18 days after, in the end surrendering to police after giving himself up to well-known Sigma TV reporter Demetris Mamas.

    Petros and Christiana had a civil wedding because the local church has not yet recognised his divorce from his Norwegian first wife.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [02] Autopsy report on boy delayed for a month

    By Jennie Matthew

    A CRIMINAL investigation to determine whether doctors are guilty of negligence in the death of a 14-year-old boy has been delayed by more than a month because former state pathologist Marios Matsakis has failed to submit his report.

    Health Minister Frixos Savvides and Attorney-general Alecos Markides both alluded to the DIKO deputy's preoccupation with the British military antennas as the reason for his slack work.

    “He promised to finish it. But then all the business down at the British Bases broke out and well, I'm not sure now,” Markides told the Sunday Mail.

    Matsakis claims that a planned 190-metre radio mast at Akrotiri will ruin the natural habitat of the salt lake and cause child cancer in the Limassol area.

    His arrest by SBA police during his protest on July 3 was followed by the worst riots ever seen on the military bases.

    But before his antenna campaign gathered pace, Matsakis openly accused doctors of negligence in the death of Giorgos Hadjidemetriou from an infected wound at the end of April.

    He attended the child's autopsy on behalf of the boy's parents and was charged with submitting his own report on the tragedy, along with the police investigation to the Attorney-general's office.

    Although the wound was cleaned and dressed twice by doctors at the Nicosia General Hospital, a small fragment of material believed to be from his trousers was found inside the wound when he died.

    Health Minister Frixos Savvides said there was a case for disciplinary action against the medical team who treated him, while Markides initiated an investigation into possible criminal negligence.

    In the middle of June his office said they expected the report within days.

    But Matsakis yesterday dismissed criticism, citing a heavy workload, lack of urgency and police protocol as the reasons for the delay.

    “There is a big file and I have to do it in the presence of the policemen who are investigating, which takes for ever. I have the Parliament, I have other things,” he said.

    He claimed he needs another three days to work on the report. “On Monday I have to be in Paphos to give evidence in court about another case. On Tuesday I might go there, but I don't know if the police officer will be on duty that day. Anyway there is no great urgency.”

    He also accused the government of being desperate to reach a deal with him before the case goes to court, to avoid any controversy over differences between his findings and those of the police.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [03] House convenes to condemn the 1974 coup and invasion

    By a Staff Reporter

    PARLIAMENT convened for an extraordinary session yesterday morning to mark the 'black anniversaries' of the 1974 coup and the Turkish invasion it paved the way for.

    Twenty-seven years ago today, tanks shelled the Presidential Palace in Nicosia as the Athens junta engineered a coup against Archbishop Makarios III, replacing him with Nicos Sampson. Less than a week later, Sampson's junta government collapsed as Turkish landing craft approached the northern coast to begin the first phase of an invasion that left 37 per cent of the island under Turkish occupation.

    Yesterday's session of the House of Representatives plenum began with one minute's silence in memory of those killed in the coup and invasion.

    Party leaders and representatives then took their turns to condemn the coup and invasion.

    Among the deputies at this year's commemoration was the son of coupist president Nicos Sampson, Sotiris, who was elected as a deputy for governing right-wingers DISY in May's parliamentary elections.

    House President Demetris Christofias condemned the “twin crime” of the coup and invasion and said both Greek and Turkish Cypriots wanted to end the occupation. Like other speakers, Christofias, the leader of main opposition party AKEL, made much of a demonstration against the occupation regime organised by Turkish Cypriots in the north on Thursday night.

    AKEL's parliamentary spokesman, Andreas Christou, sent a message of friendship towards Turkish Cypriots and spoke of the need for unity.

    DISY leader Nicos Anastassiades said the lesson to be learnt from the coup was that “undemocratic behaviour leads to dangerous divisions”. He called for national unity in the face of “the Turkish threat”.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [04] Four held after drugs bust

    By a Staff Reporter

    FOUR Paphos men were remanded on suspicion of drug possession yesterday following a Friday night police raid on a house in the town.

    Paphos District Court heard that small quantities of cocaine, ecstasy and cannabis were found in the house and in the possession of some of the suspects.

    The suspects, aged 19, 19, 36 and 33, were remanded for eight days.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [05] Family demands compensation for trauma over missing person

    By a Staff Reporter

    THE WIFE of a missing person is demanding £1 million compensation from the government over claims that the Republic deliberately failed to inform her of her husband's death during the Turkish invasion of 1974.

    Androulla Palma's husband Charalambos was 28 when he was killed at Ayios Pavlos in Nicosia on August 16, 1974.

    He was buried in the Lakatamia cemetery 26 years ago, but she and her two daughters Calliope and Christina lived with the hope that he was still alive.

    But his remains were recently identified, from DNA evidence, by the organisation Physicians for Human Rights, working with experts from the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics.

    The family claims that the government deliberately misinformed them about Charalambos' fate, instead building up the cult of the missing for political currency abroad.

    Now they are demanding £1 million in compensation for a generation of what they term psychological trauma and inhuman treatment at the hands of the Republic.

    Of the 108 sets of remains identified so far, 26 were people listed as missing, 76 members of the military and six were of civilians killed during the fighting.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [06] Neophytou blasts 'terrorist' CY pilots

    By Martin Hellicar

    COMMUNICATIONS Minister Averof Neophytou yesterday branded the Cyprus Airways (CY) pilots who brought the island's airports to a two-hour standstill on Friday “union terrorists”.

    “It is unthinkable for 50 people to hold the Cyprus economy hostage just so they can show how 'hard' they are,” the Minister told state radio CyBC.

    Some 15 flights were grounded and 3,200 passengers left stranded as pilots' union PASIPY called a two-hour meeting between 8 and 10 am on Friday to discuss long-standing grievances.

    The action incensed CY bosses, not least because the union meeting was only announced at 11pm on Thursday, allowing no time for management to arrange a fallback plan for affected flights.

    Neophytou questioned the timing of the walkout, right in the middle of the tourist season, when both Paphos and Larnaca airports were busy with tourists. PASIPY insists it timed the meeting to minimise disruption, but does admit that more warning might have been given.

    Over the years, strike action and walkouts have frequently occurred during the summer months, when the impact on flights is maximised.

    The Minister spoke of “small groups of workers¼ taking our country back many years”. He also said it was time to usher in liberalisation of air transport, so that CY would have to survive in a competitive environment and actions like the pilots' would “have to go”.

    PASIPY chief Costas Minas says the disruptive Friday meeting was called after CY bosses went back on a deal concerning promotions within the national carrier's charter subsidiary, Eurocypria. CY pilots have long been demanding that they be allowed to keep their right to claim captaincy posts within Eurocypria, a system the subsidiary's pilots object to.

    The promotions issue is currently under examination by the Labour Ministry's mediation service. Neophytou said yesterday this meant the PASIPY pilots had no right, under industrial relations codes, to stage a walkout.

    The union says Friday's action was not a walkout. CY bosses say the 8-10am union meeting was a “strike in disguise”.

    The chairman of the parliamentary communications committee, Nicos Pittokopitis, yesterday called on the CY pilots and their bosses to talk things over.

    Pittokopitis attacked the pilots' behaviour on Friday, warning that public opinion was beginning to turn against them. But the deputy also said the airline's management was not without blame in the matter, questioning its handling of the Eurocypria promotions issue.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [07] Summer sales start tomorrow

    By a Staff Reporter

    THE summer sales start officially tomorrow and last until the end of August, despite the fact that some outlets have already started selling merchandise at knock-down prices.

    The small shopkeepers' union POVEK has complained about shops pre- advertising slashed prices, claiming that it allows larger retailers to get away with selling at sale prices ahead of schedule. This digs into the profit margins of smaller stores which then

    find it impossible to compete, the union believes.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001


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