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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 02-06-13

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Thursday, June 13, 2002


  • [01] Anaesthetist faces charge of obstructing justice over death of 14-year- old boy
  • [02] Ancient vessel retraces voyages of the past
  • [03] CSE fiasco: Cabinet tasks committee with reporting on report
  • [04] Buffer zone blaze started in the north
  • [05] Family take Turkey to court over Kyrenia hotel used by army
  • [06] Deputy warns of 'volatile' situation with gypsies
  • [07] Lebanese arrested for drug possession in danger

  • [01] Anaesthetist faces charge of obstructing justice over death of 14-year- old boy

    By Soteris Charalambous

    ATTORNEY-general Alecos Markides said yesterday a charge of obstructing justice was being brought against Pantelitsa Alexandrou, Head of Anaesthesia at Nicosia General Hospital, relating to the investigation following the death during surgery of 14-year old Yiorgos Hadjidemitris.

    With a court case pending, Markides was not prepared to elaborate on the evidence against Alexandrou that had led to the case, but told the Cyprus Mail: "we have given instructions to the police to proceed and prosecute contrary to article 122 of the criminal code."

    Refusing to speculate about the possible outcome of the case or the punishment faced if found guilty, Markides would only add: "the court will determine the penalty, if she is found guilty."

    Asked if the case against Alexandrou would lead to a re-opening of the investigation of the cause of death of Hadjidemitris, Markides said: "that is a separate matter, the evidence in our case is not yet complete and requires further investigation and the testimony of an expert witness."

    Health Minister Frixos Savvides said yesterday: "An investigation was carried out by the Health Ministry and the evidence of the coroner's investigation was presented to the Attorney-general. If this results in a criminal investigation it is out of our hands. However, if he recommends disciplinary action, this will be taken by the (Health) Ministry."

    Doctors at the Nicosia General Hospital were accused of negligence by the parents of Yiorgos Hadjidemitris after the 14-year old died on April 30, 2001 during surgery. He had originally been brought to hospital with a minor cut that was cleaned up and stitched, but, four days later, the teenager was taken back to hospital with fever and pain in the stitched wound. He underwent surgery the same day to clean the wound and was kept in hospital and put on antibiotics. Three days later, with the boy's condition deteriorating, surgeons operated again.

    Tissue tests carried out in London showed the boy had died of a shock to the lungs brought on by an infection. The autopsy found that doctors had failed to remove a small piece of cloth from George's trousers from his wound.

    Private pathologist Marios Matsakis, who represented the boy's family at the post mortem, maintains the fatality was due to "anaesthetic death." And yesterday he accused both the Attorney-general and the Health Ministry of negligence.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [02] Ancient vessel retraces voyages of the past

    By Stefanos Evripidou

    IT LOOKS like a tree house stuck on a bamboo banana. In reality it's the incarnation of a pre-Pharaonic reed boat, designed and built to unravel the mysteries of prehistoric navigation.

    The Abora II drifted in to Larnaca marina yesterday. Weighing in at six- tonnes, the vessel is a totra-reed boat. It is 11.5 metres long, 3.5 metres wide and 1.5 metres deep.

    The man responsible for building the huge boat is Dominique Goerlitz, a biology teacher at a school in Germany. As a student, Goerlitz was fascinated by the number of plants found in America that were of foreign origin.

    The first reed boat was built in 1993 and paved the way for Abora II's current expedition, which sailed from Alexandria to Lebanon and arrived in Larnaca 21 days later, covering a distance of 460 nautical miles.

    The boat was built in Bolivia and shipped over to Europe where it was rebuilt for the launch in Alexandria. With a crew of nine, including nationals from Germany, Egypt, Norway and Bolivia, Goerlitz and his team aim to prove that people from Asia Minor, before the age of Phoenicians, managed to conquer the seas and that these people reached Atlantic territories around 3000BC.

    Ingo Isensee, one of the crewmembers said yesterday that things got a little hairy when winds reached up to 34 knots, but that they had managed to sail across the wind and even against the wind when it was not too heavy.

    The ancient reed boat and its crew plan to leave Cyprus for Alexandria in the next few days and begin preparations for the boat to be exhibited.

    The name 'Abora' denotes the power of goodness, and is depicted by a sign that can be found on step pyramids all over the Mediterranean. For modern day historians, the Abora II gives a breathtaking insight into prehistoric civilisations.

    Following in the footsteps of Norwegian scientist Thor Heyerdahl, Goerlitz hopes to prove the links between prehistoric communities in Asia Minor and the Americas. Heyerdahl used models of Pharaonic boats to build two papyrus crafts, the Ra II and the Tigris, which succeeded in crossing the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean respectively. His expeditions called into question the notion that Columbus was the first transatlantic navigator and demonstrated how the ancient Sumerians could have travelled widely.

    Goerlitz wanted to take the studies a step further and open possibilities of Mediterranean civilisations having influence on the New World. This was not possible under Heyerdahl's expedition because he had sailed with the currents, being unable to manoeuvre his boat against the wind.

    Goerlitz recognised that trade lines could not be proved if the boats being used could not sail against the wind - especially in the Mediterranean sea, which is prone to strong currents and winds. Convinced that pre-dynastic Egyptians traded with all the ancient civilisations, Goerlitz studied Nubian cave paintings drawn at the end of the 4000 BC.

    From the drawings of papyrus reed boats he concluded that the representations of oars were actually keels. This provided an explanation as to how the sailboats could stay balanced in the water under the pressure of strong winds.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [03] CSE fiasco: Cabinet tasks committee with reporting on report

    By George Psyllides

    THE CABINET yesterday appointed a special committee to study the House report on the stock market (CSE) fiasco and present a report within two weeks.

    The CSE report, which was released last week, blamed the cabinet and the finance minister, among many others, for maintaining a passive and indifferent stance while thousands of people were losing their life savings.

    The publication of the report last week sparked a bitter spat between the government and the House, with barbs exchanged on a daily basis.

    Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said the committee would be made up of the Attorney-general Alecos Markides, who was also criticised in the House report for dragging his feet in prosecuting those involved in the debacle, Finance Minister Takis Klerides, who bore the brunt of the House's blame, and Health and Interior Ministers Frixos Savvides and Andreas Panayiotou.

    Papapetrou stressed the urgency of the task, adding the government had set a 15-day deadline for the committee to come up with its findings, which would be discussed by the Cabinet in special meetings.

    The hefty report, prepared by the House Watchdog and Finance Committees who investigated the 1999-2000 CSE crash, blamed the Cabinet, the Finance Minister, brokers, CSE authorities, the Central Bank Governor, the chairmen of the two biggest banks on the island, lawyers and accountants, and to a lesser extend politicians and parties for their part in the fiasco.

    Markides and the police were censured for not moving fast enough and not initiating any investigations into the matter of their own accord.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [04] Buffer zone blaze started in the north

    By George Psyllides

    TUESDAY'S big fire, which at one stage threatened the disused Nicosia airport, started in the Turkish occupied areas, the fire service said yesterday.

    Fire Service Chief Giorgos Hadjigeorgiou told the Cyprus Mail that according to his information the blaze started in the occupied areas near the villages of Skylloura and Ayios Vassilios north west of Nicosia.

    Turkish troops manning ceasefire-line posts have occasionally been known to set fire to wild scrub to clear the area in order to have an unobstructed view of their sector.

    The blaze started at 6pm and was brought under control three hours later with engines remaining on the scene throughout the night to prevent it from re-igniting.

    The main problem were the strong winds, which fanned the fire that raged towards the Nicosia airport.

    "The battle was fought at the airport," Hadjigeorgiou said.

    He added: "We managed to stop the fire on the outskirts or else, if it had reached the airport then it would have been very difficult."

    Putting out the blaze had been a collective effort, according to Hadgigeorgiou, who reserved special praise for the area's residents who scrambled with tractors and bulldozers.

    "It was a collective effort of the fire service, United Nations personnel, forestry department, civil defence and game department, and I want to stress the help we received from the area's residents, who used tractors and bulldozers to create fire-breaks," Hadgigeorgiou said.

    "I am very happy for their selfless contribution," he added.

    At the same time, Turkish Cypriots on the other side of the cease-fire line were fighting to save their homes from the flames.

    According to Hadgigeorgiou, the fire reached the first houses in occupied Yerolakkos village.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [05] Family take Turkey to court over Kyrenia hotel used by army

    By Jean Christou

    THE European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has found admissible an application by Greek Cypriot hotel owners against Turkey for denying them access to their property in the north, which is being used by the Turkish army.

    The Rock Ruby Hotel is owned by Agathoclis Neocleous and his two sisters Erato and Maria, married respectively to a Briton and a German. In their application to the ECHR, the family said that since July 1974 when the hotel's guests were evacuated from the premises, they had been unable to return to their property or enjoy it.

    In its decision finding the Rock Ruby Hotel appeal admissible, which was issued at the end of May, the ECHR referred to its judgement in 1995, in which it decreed that Turkey was guilty of denying Greek Cypriot refugee Titina Loizidou the right to enjoy her property in the north.

    "The Court finds no reason to depart from these conclusions," the majority decision states.

    Achilleas Demetriades, the lawyer for the family said yesterday the case was important because it was a decision on admissibility after Turkey had had the opportunity to file its observations and because it also reaffirmed the Loizidou case.

    "So in that respect it's quite important, and the interesting thing about this case which gets a mention in the report is that this property, the Rock Ruby hotel, is used by the Turkish army itself," Demetriades said.

    "I consider this to be important because it's property that the Turkish army itself is using. The Turks say the army is not here... there is no army here. well we say the army is using the hotel."

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [06] Deputy warns of 'volatile' situation with gypsies

    By George Psyllides

    THE SITUATION in Limassol's Turkish Cypriot quarter, which houses a concentration of Gypsies, is volatile and could lead to "mutual annihilation", the Chairman of the House Refugee Committee Aristofanis Georgiou said yesterday.

    Speaking after a closed session, which discussed the area's problems, Georgiou said there were daily quarrels and threats between Greek Cypriots and Gypsies, as well as frequent fights among the Roma themselves.

    "The situation is explosive and could potentially lead to mutual annihilation and we should avoid this," Georgiou said.

    He added that one solution would be transferring the Gypsies to settlements near the residential areas so that "they have the right to move and work but at the same time the potentially bad aspects of their life would not affect the people around them."

    Georgiou said two or three locations had already been considered, but refrained from naming any of them.

    The committee decided to amend current legislation concerning Turkish Cypriot property to facilitate evacuation and demolition of derelict dwellings and create parks and sports facilities in their place.

    Georgiou said the amendments would probably be discussed next Wednesday in order for procedures to get under way to improve the area.

    He said eight buildings had already been demolished, with another two awaiting the same fate.

    One hundred more dwellings are earmarked for demolition, though their residents have resisted handing them over, Georgiou said.

    "Some effort would be done concerning these people, to house them in better conditions and demolish these places too," Georgiou said.

    He said the flow of Gypsy arrivals from the north had slowed down, though new arrivals continued to provoke reaction from the Greek Cypriot residents of the area.

    Georgiou said everyone's goal was for Greek Cypriots and Gypsies to continue to have contact without the current problems and by avoiding depriving either of any right.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [07] Lebanese arrested for drug possession in danger

    Yiousef Mehmet Ali Siqaf, a 45-year old Lebanese national, is fighting for his life at Larnaca General Hospital after a pellet, allegedly containing cocaine, burst in his stomach according to a report from the Cyprus news agency (CNA).

    Police at Larnaca airport arrested Siqaf on June 10 on suspicion of carrying drugs. He was on his way to Beirut from Curacao in the Dutch Antilles and had flown into Larnaca from Amsterdam allegedly carrying 60 containers in his stomach totalling 600 grams of cocaine. He initially secreted 12 pellets and later on another six.

    According to the CNA report, a hospital official said the 45-year old was in danger because a pellet had burst and the drug had flooded his body. He explained that each pellet contained approximately 10 grams of cocaine, which is about eight times the lethal intravenous dose of 1.2 grams.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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