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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 02-07-14

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Sunday, July 14, 2002


  • [01] Two shot dead in row over parking space
  • [02] Gay campaigner slams House 'contempt for human rights'
  • [03] Neophytou doesn't have to resign
  • [04] Man held 'after singing Greek songs in Turkish Cypriot tavern'
  • [05] Last two victims of helicopter crash are buried
  • [06] Tourist held after cannabis found in shoes

  • [01] Two shot dead in row over parking space

    By Alexia Saoulli

    A FATHER and son were shot dead by a neighbour yesterday morning in what was reported to be an argument over a parking space, said police.

    The double homicide took place at Mouttalou in Paphos at around 11.20am.

    “A 60-year-old man and his 38-year-old son were shot,” a police spokesman told the Sunday Mail.

    When police arrived at the scene they found Andreas Charalambous Skyllouriotis, 60, and his 38-year-old son Charalambos had been shot at close blank range. The killing took place in front of the latter's 11-year- old son.

    According to police the row involved the father, his son and their 56-year- old neighbour. Charalambos would reportedly park his car in a spot that the neighbour did not approve of. In an effort to prevent him from doing so, yesterday he allegedly placed a pile of stones in the parking space. But the son moved the stones and parked his car there anyway.

    When the neighbour found out, he allegedly got his hunting rifle, crossed the street and shot both father and son dead.

    According to TV reports the neighbour gave himself up to police and confessed to the crime. He was still being interrogated by Paphos CID late yesterday afternoon.

    Andreas Skyllouriotis' brother-in-law was also slightly injured in the incident and was taken to Paphos General Hospital for treatment.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [02] Gay campaigner slams House 'contempt for human rights'

    By Jean Christou

    GAY RIGHTS activist Alecos Modinos yesterday said the House decision to raise the age of consent for heterosexuals in order to avoid reducing it for homosexuals showed its total contempt for human rights.

    Modinos, who won a five-year battle at the European Court of Human Rights forcing Cyprus to decriminalise homosexuality in 1998, expressed his disappointment at the way in which parliament forced through the change on Thursday.

    Under pressure from Europe to equalise legislation regarding homosexuals and heterosexuals, because the House of Representatives did not want to reduce the age of consent for gays from 18 to 16, it raised the legal age of consent for heterosexuals from 16 to 17. Deputies also made it clear that they had only passed the legislation because of the European Union.

    “The age of consent doesn't bother me,” Modinos told the Sunday Mail. “What bothers me is that they believe homosexuality is such a terrible thing and to get rid of the problem they have with the EU they must raise the age from 16 to 17 so that it will be equal. Whether it's 16 or 17 doesn't matter. It bothers me terribly that not one of the politicians dared to say that it was because it's a human right.”

    Modinos said the reason Europe was pressing was because the EU considered it a matter of human rights, but that Cyprus did not see it the same way.

    “It's very sad that politicians should have seen it as just an obligation and only passed it because they had to,” he added. “It's sad that I don't see any movement or effort into making sexual minorities first class citizens in Cyprus. Nothing has changed, and unfortunately nothing will change.”

    Modinos also said the main fault lay with the government and the lack of sex education in schools, which he said was a great mistake because the government had been aware for a long time of impending EU accession but has not prepared young people to enter Europe.

    “Am I to imagine that all 16-year-olds who were allowed to have sex legally until now to also be against us because of the raising of the age of consent?” he asked. “And the other thing is that although most of the unwanted pregnancies involve young girls, we haven't seen anyone taking anyone to court because they had sex with a 15-year-old or a 14-year-old. Are they going to turn the same blind eye for homosexuals? The sooner they educate our youth the better off we will be,” he added.

    Modinos said it was unlikely he would be pursuing the issue of gay marriages in Cyprus, but said he would not give up on seeking equality for gays in all legal areas, including equal treatment for gay partners.

    He said EU countries have started recognising partnerships even if the couples are not married, and that one of the provisions of EU membership is that other countries recognise the rights that people enjoy in their own country.

    “My intention is to see Cyprus enter the EU with equal human rights for everyone. I'm expecting the state to protect its citizens and to have equal rights without any discrimination in any field,” he said. “It's in this respect that whether I cohabit or get married is personal matter, but I would definitely want my partner to be considered my closest family. I would like him to inherit half of whatever I have if I died, to be legally the one to stay at my flat and not to be thrown out because he is not legally protected.

    “Everyone here talks about equal rights and entering Europe, but how can we enter Europe this way? Is Europe to be blamed by our politicians?”

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [03] Neophytou doesn't have to resign

    COMMUNICATION and Works Minister Averoff Neophytou yesterday met his deadline and officially opened a controversial strip of coastal road in Paphos, thus ensuring he would not have to carry out his threat to resign.

    The area under construction was a 1.5-kilometre stretch of Poseidon Avenue, from the Rania Hotel to CTO in Yeroskipou. There had been discussions on widening the road for a number of years, and work finally began last year, with the promise that it would be finished by April 30 - the start of the summer season.

    But the contractors delayed completing the project on time and kept extending their delivery date. This sparked fury from hoteliers in the area, who alleged the chaos on their very doorsteps had jeopardised their livelihoods from tourism.

    Their anger led them to stage a number of strikes in recent months. Among them were the Phaethon Hotel, Pioneer Beach Hotel, Paphian Bay Hotel, Cypria Maris Beach Hotel, Ledra Beach Hotel, Athina Beach Hotel and the Aliathon Village Hotel Apartments.

    Following the hoteliers' actions Neophytou vowed to quit as minister if the road was not completed by July 13.

    Yesterday morning the minister was able to keep his promise to deliver on time and go ahead with the official opening ceremony.

    “The road is completely finished,” a ministry spokesperson told the Cyprus Mail yesterday. “All that remains to be done now are a few minor secondary works.”

    The project included widening the road to support two-lane traffic, a dividing barrier, pavements and adequate lighting, and is expected to cost around £1,600,000. Trees have also already been planted along the pavements in an effort to make the area more aesthetically pleasing, a request made by the hoteliers.

    Although the final touches are not yet complete, vehicles have been able to use the road since Friday, despite the fact that it was only officially opened yesterday.

    Speaking at the ceremony, Neophytou said that it was not he who had won the bet for sticking to his July 13 deadline, but the Cypriot people. He added that from now on all future projects would be handled by the government, which would be responsible for setting specific time-frames and procedures.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [04] Man held 'after singing Greek songs in Turkish Cypriot tavern'

    A GREEK Cypriot man was detained by Turkish troops in the north late on Friday after crossing over with a Turkish Cypriot friend to eat at a tavern.

    Police said that Vassos Elia, 25, a builder from Xylotymbou, crossed to the north with his Turkish Cypriot employee Osman Sinkerpi through Pergamos in the Famagusta district. The UN had been informed, a police statement said.

    Sources told the Sunday Mail that the two men had been out for a few drinks when Sinkerpi suggested they head north to continue their evening out. Trouble is reported to have started when Elia began singing Greek songs in a Turkish Cypriot tavern and he was arrested at about 8.30pm the sources said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [05] Last two victims of helicopter crash are buried

    By Alexia Saoulli

    THE FINAL TWO National Guard officers killed in Wednesday morning's helicopter crash near Paphos were buried yesterday.

    Greek National Air Force Commander Brigadier Stelios Demenagas, 50, and 30- year-old Greek Cypriot Naval Lieutenant Nicolas Georgiou both lost their lives in the crash of a Bell 206L-3 Long Ranger, which came down at around 4.20am near the village of Kouklia, killing all five men on board.

    Also killed were the National Guard Commander, Lieutenant General Evangelos Florakis, 59, as well as two aircrew, Flight Lieutenants Paris Athanassiades, 33, and Michalis Shiakallis, 26.

    Demenagas' funeral was held at Ayios Nicolaou Church in Halandri, Athens, at 10am yesterday and his burial took place at Halandri cemetery. Greek political, military and church leaders were among the many who paid their last respects.

    In his eulogy, Cyprus Defence Minister Socratis Hasikos, in Athens to attend the funeral, said the air force had lost one of its most capable and brilliant officers, as well as one of the finest air defence officers Greece and Cyprus had.

    He hailed Demenagas as a “freedom fighter” who was “tireless, vigilant, and who died carrying out his duty to the last”.

    “Flexible, inexhaustibly hard-working, flawless in his military judgment and above all, entirely genuine, Brigadier Demengas from the word go gained Cyprus' military and political leadership's complete trust,” Hasikos said/

    He noted that Demenagas had been responsible for drawing up the first Air Defence Dogma plans between Cyprus and Greece, and had been present for the delivery of the S-300 missiles in Crete and the new National Guard helicopter gunships in Paphos.

    Georgiou's funeral took place at Ayios Georgios Church in Nicosia at 11am, and his burial followed at Ayios Dhometios Cemetery. House President Demetris Christofias, Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides, Attorney- general Alecos Markides and other military and political officials attended.

    The cause of Wednesday's crash is still not known, but a 10-member committee has been appointed to investigate the incident. It took place when the pilot was just four minutes' flying time from his destination, the Andreas Papandrou Air Force base at Paphos.

    The inquiry is made up of six Cypriots (three mechanics and three pilots), two specialists from Greece and two scientists from the Bell helicopter company - one of whom specialises in fuselage and the other in Rolls Royce engines.

    Hasikos said yesterday that the remaining two National Guard Bell 206L-3 Long Ranger helicopters will remain grounded until the outcome of the investigation. This was standard international procedure pending any investigation, he said.

    The minister stressed that these helicopters have the capability fly both day and night and that their airworthiness was certified annually. The Bell representative in Cyprus, Kyriakos Parpas, added that they are considered to be the safest helicopters in the world.

    Although Hasikos avoided specifying a date for the results of the accident inquiry, he said the committee was working on it around the clock.

    “As soon as we have the outcome we will inform the public,” he said. Until then, he asked the media to stop speculating into what had caused the crash.

    Acting House Defence Committee Chairman Costas Constantinou said the Minister had a meeting yesterday with Lieutenant General Athanasios Nicolodemos, 59, who will replace Florakis as the new Commander of the National Guard. He is expected to arrive on the island tomorrow.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [06] Tourist held after cannabis found in shoes

    A LARNACA court has remanded a British man in custody for five days on suspicion of importing drugs with intend to sell them.

    Andy Derek Small, 27, a construction worker from London, was arrested shortly after arriving at Larnaca airport yesterday morning.

    The court heard Small was met at the airport by another individual and the two then caught a taxi to Ayia Napa. Just outside Xylofagou in the Famagusta district however, a drugs squad unit intercepted the vehicle after a tip-off.

    Small was searched and police said they found 10 grams of cannabis in the soles of his shoes and another gram in his tracksuit pocket.

    Small told the court that he was only carrying four grams of cannabis in his shoes and 0.1 gram in his pocket. He said that the drugs were for his personal use.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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