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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 03-03-19

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

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


Wednesday, March 19, 2003

CONTENTS

  • [01] CY holds back on contingency plan until 'nature of war is clear'
  • [02] Safety measures 'are not enough to save lives on the road'
  • [03] Water from vending machines 'not safe'
  • [04] It might be lousy, but it's nothing unusual for March
  • [05] Iacovou: Cypriots were warned to leave Iraq
  • [06] Defence Ministry tight lipped on environmental impact of war
  • [07] Island initiates safety plan for health scare
  • [08] UK tour operators keep Cyprus on the destination list
  • [09] Police increase security measures in light of looming war
  • [10] Safety measures 'are not enough to save lives on the road'
  • [11] Mother of four dies
  • [12] Three suspects remanded for refugee's murder

  • [01] CY holds back on contingency plan until 'nature of war is clear'

    By Jean Christou

    CYPRUS AIRWAYS (CY) said yesterday it would implement an already prepared contingency plan as soon as the conflict begins in Iraq and until then its Middle East service would run as normal.

    CY spokesman Tassos Angelis said although the airline has provided for several different scenarios, none of the plans would be put in place until the US attack, which is predicted to happen before the end of the week.

    British Airways (BA) yesterday became the first airline to announce the suspension of flights to Israel. CY also flies to Tel Aviv but Angelis said that the national carrier had not made any decision on this route.

    BA yesterday announced the cancellation of its flights to Kuwait and Abu Dhabi, effective immediately, and the suspension of its flights to Tel Aviv from today after a British Foreign Office warning that travel to Israel was unsafe. The final Kuwait flight was to travel to Heathrow via Larnaca.

    The Foreign Office travel website this morning also recommended that British nationals in Jordan and Bahrain also consider leaving unless their presence is essential. The FCO has been advising against all non-essential (including holiday) travel to the two countries since February 21.

    On Cyprus, the FCO said: “We have no reason to believe that Cyprus is at risk of attack from Iraq and therefore we see no reason for holiday plans to be changed.”

    Angelis said that one of the company's scenarios would be put into place as soon as the “character of the war” was clear.

    “Nobody knows yet how it will happen, when it will occur and who will be involved,” he said. “There are various scenarios. It will also depend on what other airlines will do and depend on the policy of the insurance companies as well.”

    He said the various contingency plans would include the cancellation or reduction of flights and in other cases the suspension of overnight stays in some Middle East destinations. CY flies to Israel, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Dubai and Lebanon.

    Angelis said CY would follow any instructions from organisations such as IATA, the International Association of Air Transport and the Association of European Airlines (AEA).

    “What is very important is the insurance companies,” he said. “In some cases they might increase the fees so much it will be impossible to fly. Airline will be stopping, not because it's dangerous, but because its expensive to fly.”

    During the first Gulf War in 1991, Lloyds of London put Cyprus on the high- risk zone, making it impossible for airlines to land on the island. The government recently met officials from the company, which has promised to be guided by state travel advisories when it comes to assessing Cyprus.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Wednesday, March 19, 2003

    [02] Safety measures 'are not enough to save lives on the road'

    By Sofia Kannas

    THE NEW safety measures to be taken on a stretch of road where three people died on Sunday morning are not enough to save lives, the Chief Inspector of Nicosia Traffic Branch warned yesterday.

    Speaking to the Cyprus Mail Angelos Karadjian said he believed the root of the problem was reckless driving.

    “These sort of accidents have more to do with drivers' attitudes. More attention needs to be paid to road safety, in the form of seminars for young people and also getting the message across through the media.”

    Three people died in a fatal collision on the dual carriageway in the early hours of Sunday.

    The collision happened on Grivas Digenis avenue from Severis avenue to the Gavrielides traffic lights in Nicosia when a Honda Integra driven by 25- year-old electrician Costas Marathovouniotis smashed through a road partition and into the oncoming traffic, where it hit a Honda CRV driven by Christiana Christophidou, a 27-year-old beautician from Ayioi Trimithias. Both drivers were killed in the collision, along with 23-year-old police constable Ioannis Koupepides, who was a passenger in Marathovouniotis' car.

    Karadjian said police and specialists from the Public Works Department had visited the scene of the accident on Sunday and decided to adopt safety measures immediately.

    “As a first measure we are going to erect a new, higher crash barrier in between the two lanes of traffic because the old barrier was only about 12 inches high. We are also going to put 'cats' eyes' along the edges of the road, so drivers can see better. We hope these immediate measures will help reduce accidents.”

    Karadjian said Cyprus' poor road safety records could be improved with time.

    “Perhaps in five to ten years time things will improve -- Cyprus is a small island, so it is possible.”

    Deputy Traffic Director Doros Achilleou said he believed more police patrols were necessary on Friday and Saturday nights.

    “Another measure we aim to take is to increase traffic policing after midnight, with the focus on reducing speeding and drink driving.”

    He added that the fatal crash in the early hours of Sunday was likely to have been caused by speeding.

    “We are still investigating, but we suspect the car was going very fast.

    “Seven other people were caught speeding by police on the same stretch of road before the accident,” he added.

    Police have not ruled out the possibility that Marathovouniotis had been drinking, leading him to lose control of his car.

    “Autopsies have been taken and blood has been sent to be tested for alcohol. We should know the results in 15-20 days.”

    Traffic police have confirmed that so far the number of road accidents on the island this year is up by 57 per cent compared to last year, while the number of fatalities has already reached 22.

    Six people have died in multiple fatality crashes on the island in the past six days.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Wednesday, March 19, 2003

    [03] Water from vending machines 'not safe'

    By Sofia Kannas

    THE HEALTH Ministry yesterday played down reports that up to a third of drinking water sold at vending machines across the island was not suitable for consumption.

    Unconfirmed reports suggest State Laboratory tests between January and July 2002 show that 36 per cent of water samples taken from water tankers and 30 per cent of water sold at public vending machines does not meet required standards.

    Permanent Health Secretary Andis Trifonides said yesterday that the reports could be true, but added that such revelations were not new.

    “This is not anything new -- it's an ongoing process. From time to time we see that officers checking water tanks and water vending machines discover that the water is not potable.

    However Trifonides was anxious to stress that the relevant authorities were quick to take measures whenever such discoveries were made.

    “The authorities take all the necessary measures in such cases, obliging water tanks to be cleaned and also taking legal measures against water suppliers involved.”

    A Water Board source was less confident that appropriate measures were being taken however.

    “There are regulations but are these properly implemented? The inspection of this water is supposed to be carried out by the government and local authorities… But they don't have enough inspectors.

    “Many people depend on this water, as they can't afford to buy bottled water, and it's becoming a very serious problem.”

    According to the source, the measures taken here would not satisfy European standards.

    “EU directives are very strict on the issue of drinking water, but here we are not strict enough…There is a lack of inspection. Local authorities don't have the personnel to carry out adequate inspections.

    “We don't know what happens when water tankers deliver water to vending machines. Are the tankers cleaned? Is the pipe used for transferring water clean? The vending machines themselves maybe be a health hazard.

    “It could be that checks are done on a vending machine and it appears OK. Then five minutes later a dog manages to lick the tap on the machine, because the taps are sometimes not covered.”

    The source warned that even bottled water was not free from hazards.

    “In the summer time, bottled water can be problematic. Bottled water sold at corner shops is sometimes left standing in the sun in 50 degree heat and this affects the plastic bottles containing the water.”

    “Water has always been a problem in Cyprus.”

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Wednesday, March 19, 2003

    [04] It might be lousy, but it's nothing unusual for March

    By Tania Khadder

    AS GEORGE W. Bush gave Saddam 48 hours at 3am yesterday morning, a chilling thunderstorm erupted over Cyprus. The full moon set against thick clouds, heavy rain and violent crashes of thunder and lightning all served as an appropriate backdrop for the ominous announcement. Coincidence? Maybe not. Even the Paralimni Mukhtar spoke of a biblical catastrophe.

    The recent weather is a bit of a contradiction in terms of the normal patterns for this time of year. Over the past 24 hours, we've seen about (16mm) of rainfall, making up a third of the total rainfall (48.5mm) for March so far. This figure is still only 78 per cent of this month's average rainfall of 62mm. So while it may seem as though this year's weather is particularly unfriendly, it isn't any wetter than usual, an officer from the Meteorological Center (MET) Klitos Piotis said yesterday.

    According to the head of MET, Kiriagos Theophilou, it is colder than usual. The average temperature for March 18 is 19 degrees - and the average temperature yesterday was 15 degrees inland and on the coastal regions.

    There was light snowfall in the Troodos Mountains, extending opportunities to ski for at least another week.

    Police issued bulletins warning drivers to be careful on various mountain roads as a result of hail, and one mountain road was temporarily closed because of falling rocks.

    There was a considerable amount of damage around the island as a result of the storm.

    Waves in Paphos were strong enough to dislodge paving blocks in the pedestrian area near the castle and fishermen were warned not to go out to sea. In Limassol, vineyards and other cultivations sustained serious damage, and some villages were hit hard by the storm including Paramali, Avdimou, Kalo Chorio, Pissouri and Ayios Ambrosios. In some cases the hail piled up to 20 cm and heavy hail damaged greenhouses in Kalo Chorio.

    Members of the Agricultural Insurance Organisation visited the affected sites yesterday to evaluate damages to the crops.

    heophilou said that a low pressure system would continue today bringing grey weather with occasional showers and possible hail in some places, and light snowfall in the mountains. Between Thursday and Saturday, long periods of fair weather are expected with intermittent clouds.

    Perhaps the aggressive onset of yesterday's storm falling in line with Bush's troubling address was merely coincidence - or could it have been a loud cry of disapproval from above?

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Wednesday, March 19, 2003

    [05] Iacovou: Cypriots were warned to leave Iraq

    By Alex Mita

    FOREIGN Minister George Iacovou said yesterday that Cypriots living in Iraq and in neighbouring countries had already been advised to leave long before President Bush delivered his ultimatum to Saddam Hussein.

    But speaking to the Cyprus Mail yesterday Iacovou said it would now be very difficult to evacuate any Cypriot citizens still living in Baghdad.

    “We haven't got a consulate or an embassy in Iraq,” he said.

    “We have warned Cypriots living in the gulf area that unless they had a very serious reason to be there they should leave the area.”

    Iacovou said Cypriots living in neighbouring countries have already started leaving.

    “According to our information, there are no Cypriots in Iraq but if there are some left it would now be very difficult to evacuate them. When you don't have an embassy in a country it is very difficult to evacuate citizens living there.

    “We have an arrangement with the European Union that if EU countries evacuate their citizens from the countries, that they should also evacuate Cypriot citizens since we are an associated country,” he added.

    Iacovou said that due to the fact that Cyprus has no embassy or consulate in Iraq citizens should have made a point of informing the Foreign Ministry of their whereabouts.

    “In the past relatives of those living in Iraq would let us know,” he said. “That way we had an exact number of people living there.

    “But lately we haven't had anyone come in and say they have relatives in the area.”

    Iacovou said Cypriots would have found it easy to escape to neighbouring Jordan by car because this time the Iraqis did not interfere with the evacuation.

    Iacovou brushed aside fears that some Cypriots may have failed to renew their passport and could now be stranded in the area.

    “It is impossible for a Cypriot citizen to work and live in Iraq or the neighbouring countries without a passport, so I am sure all Cypriots have valid passports,” he said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Wednesday, March 19, 2003

    [06] Defence Ministry tight lipped on environmental impact of war

    By Stefanos Evripidou

    THE DEFENCE Ministry yesterday refused to confirm or deny reports that tests were underway to assess the possible effects on the environment of a war in Iraq and would not comment on whether any precautions were being taken to protect the country from poisonous gases or toxic clouds that could form after heavy bombing or the use of chemical or biological weapons.

    According to reports, a toxic cloud formed over Belgrade after NATO bombing in 1999. With this experience in mind, army headquarters wanted to assess the dangers to the environment of a US-led war on Iraq, as part of their Emergency Action Plan. However, Defence Ministry spokesman, Andreas Yorkas refused to make any comments on the reports.

    The Health Ministry also remained tight-lipped on precautionary measures that were being taken against poisonous gases coming over Cyprus. Chief Medical Officer, Andreas Georgiou, was swamped with reporters questions but was not given approval to make public their concerns and the ministry's actions.

    Director of the Centre for Strategic Studies, Aristos Aristodelous, told the Cyprus Mail that the highly destructive new weapon expected to be used by the US, called the Massive Ordnance Air Burst bomb (MOAB) and nicknamed 'The Mother of all Bombs', is so effective that it can wipe out a whole army unit, creating a lot of catastrophe in an area.

    “This should not concern Cyprus. We should be more worried about the use of chemical or biological weapons which can seriously affect the environment in an area,” he said.

    However, he added that the danger to Cyprus was remote since chemical weapons have been used in the past by Iraq which did not appear to affect the island. “There may be effects but it is difficult for anyone to specify what they might be for Cyprus. It all depends on what is going to be used in the conflict area,” said Aristodelous.

    According to the director, countries neighbouring Iraq were at much greater risk. “They could have missiles landing on them or the immediate environment could suffer from the burning of oil fields, depending on the wind,” he said. He added: “For the Americans, their bombs have changed in two ways: they are more accurate and more powerful.”

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Wednesday, March 19, 2003

    [07] Island initiates safety plan for health scare

    By Alexia Saoulli

    HEALTH MINISTRY officials yesterday joined international bodies in offering guidance to travellers, airlines and their crewmembers and in response to the recent outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in Southeast Asia, and its subsequent spread to North America and Europe.

    The Ministry's Medical Services and Public Health Service announced they had prepared a list of recommendations, following World Health Organisation instructions “on epidemiological supervision, the disease's diagnosis, dealing with possible incidences and people who have come into contact with infected persons and the implementation of necessary prevention measures,” said Dr Constantinos Mallis, head of medical services.

    “We have prepared relevant informative material and instructions for clinicians and laboratory doctors in the public and private sector,” he added.

    Mallis said although there were currently no indications to restrict the onward travel of passengers to the affected regions “our services recommends that the public postpone travelling there, if it is not necessary”.

    He said Greece's Health Ministry had issued similar advice and added the Ministry was in constant contact with international health organisations and services and would act to effectively deal with the problem.

    Meanwhile Larnaca Airport had been contacted and instructed to inform airline companies about procedures that needed to be followed in light of suspected SARS incidences, added Mallis. “They are also being briefed on necessary preventions measures that must be taken to stop the disease's spread,” he said. “Airlines have to adhere to general health declarations and we merely reminded them of these.”

    British Airways and Cyprus Airways staff had received no notification from local authorities on the issue, their spokesmen said yesterday, although British Airways had been contacted by the airline's head office in London, which was in direct contact with the WHO, and were following their guidelines.

    According to British Airways spokeswoman in Cyprus, Kathy Christodoulou, the airline had sent them the following briefing on Monday: “British Airways is in contact with the World Health Organisation who is leading the response on this issue and are following their guidelines. Although most of the cases are believed to have been related to people who work in hospitals, we are aware that the condition may be spread by travellers. There is no evidence at present that sitting on an aircraft presents any greater risk than contact in any other situations. However, we will be giving our crews guidelines based on WHO advice about the symptoms, which people may suffer from. British Airways will keep in touch with the relevant countries' health authorities to offer any assistance they can if a case does occur onboard a flight.”

    But, despite the Ministry's list of recommendations, Mallis was quick to stress that “no incident had been reported in our country, to date”.

    According to the WHO, increased SARS incidences have been reported mainly in southeast Asian countries. Outbreaks mentioned in other countries (Canada and Germany) are sporadic, and not connected, but related to trips destined for southeast Asia, said Mallis.

    The cause of the disease is still unknown and under investigation. Symptoms include fever, dry cough, breathing difficulties, as well as malaise and headache. A number of cases developed pneumonia and acute respiratory distress, some of which led to death. So far SARS has killed nine people and infected 150 others, according to WHO statistics.

    No one at Larnaca Airport was yesterday available for comment.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Wednesday, March 19, 2003

    [08] UK tour operators keep Cyprus on the destination list

    By Jean Christou

    MAJOR BRITISH tour operators have not made any moves yet to pull clients out of Cyprus as they did during the last Gulf war in 1991 but the UK's market is in the midst of general slump which has already affected the island.

    UK-based Cypriot specialist Noel Josephides told the Cyprus Mail yesterday that the travel industry in general is very quiet. His company Sunvil only took 18 bookings yesterday, none of which were to Cyprus, while this time last year they were taking around 80 bookings a day.

    “We've heard nothing at all about what the major operators are thinking,” he said. “It's very quiet here but business to Cyprus has been very poor anyway for quite a while now.”

    Josephides said that in general Britons were not travelling but neither were there any cancellations from people who have already booked because they will lose their deposits.

    “I think that what we are all hoping for now is that if he (Saddam) doesn't succumb in the 48 hours that Bush has given him, that it will be over quickly so we can all see what we are going to do with our lives because at the moment none of us has any idea,” he said.

    In 1991 the major British operators abandoned Cyprus overnight causing a drop in tourism of 50 per cent. Currently bookings to Cyprus are running 35- 40 per cent down and the big operators have cut capacity overall this year by 15 per cent.

    “You never know the thinking of the large operators,” Josephides said. “It's not only a matter of safety, It's a matter of commercial judgement because obviously they may well decide, if they get a lot of cancellations, to cancel everything. We don't know but certainly if they are going to move at all will be in the next few days.”

    Although Cyprus has been vouched safe for travel by the British Foreign Office, and has not been placed in the Lloyds high-risk zone, it is still perceived as being close to the conflict and tied to British military activity because of the bases.

    Press reports from the UK at the weekend, quoting the Travel Trade Gazette said bookings were down by as much as 35 per cent overall and that family bookings were down 50 per cent.

    It said that Turkey, Tunisia, Cyprus, Egypt and Greece have been hit the hardest because of their proximity to the potential conflict and, in some cases, their use by US or British military forces. For those willing to travel there are numerous bargains to those countries. Thomson is offering seven nights in Cyprus in May for UK£199 - a discount of 52 per cent from £415. Airtours and Thomson, along with many other travel companies, said they were 'reviewing capacity', meaning that more cuts were likely to be announced soon, the reports said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Wednesday, March 19, 2003

    [09] Police increase security measures in light of looming war

    By a Staff Reporter

    POLICE ARE taking all necessary security measures at all the island's entry points, force commander Tasos Panayiotou said yesterday.

    Speaking after meeting Justice Minister Doros Theodorou, Panayiotou said the measures would be stepped up further.

    “Heightened measures are already in force and they include the Republic's entry points, that is, ports and airport, the British bases, checks on foreigners, diplomatic missions and others,” Panayiotou said.

    He refused to discuss the additional measures saying only “security measures have been increased”.

    Panayiotou pointed out that it was self-evident that measures in Larnaca would be even higher because it is where the island's biggest airport was located.

    Panayiotou said there would be stricter checks on arrivals and departures but did not give any details.

    The police chief said that a mass influx of migrants was possible if a war started, not only from Iraq but also neighbouring countries.

    He said he did not have specific information concerning migrants adding however that it was an expected eventuality.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Wednesday, March 19, 2003

    [10] Safety measures 'are not enough to save lives on the road'

    By Sofia Kannas

    THE NEW safety measures to be taken on a stretch of road where three people died on Sunday morning are not enough to save lives, the Chief Inspector of Nicosia Traffic Branch warned yesterday.

    Speaking to the Cyprus Mail Angelos Karadjian said he believed the root of the problem was reckless driving.

    “These sort of accidents have more to do with drivers' attitudes. More attention needs to be paid to road safety, in the form of seminars for young people and also getting the message across through the media.”

    Three people died in a fatal collision on the dual carriageway in the early hours of Sunday.

    The collision happened on Grivas Digenis avenue from Severis avenue to the Gavrielides traffic lights in Nicosia when a Honda Integra driven by 25- year-old electrician Costas Marathovouniotis smashed through a road partition and into the oncoming traffic, where it hit a Honda CRV driven by Christiana Christophidou, a 27-year-old beautician from Ayioi Trimithias. Both drivers were killed in the collision, along with 23-year-old police constable Ioannis Koupepides, who was a passenger in Marathovouniotis' car.

    Karadjian said police and specialists from the Public Works Department had visited the scene of the accident on Sunday and decided to adopt safety measures immediately.

    “As a first measure we are going to erect a new, higher crash barrier in between the two lanes of traffic because the old barrier was only about 12 inches high. We are also going to put 'cats' eyes' along the edges of the road, so drivers can see better. We hope these immediate measures will help reduce accidents.”

    Karadjian said Cyprus' poor road safety records could be improved with time.

    “Perhaps in five to ten years time things will improve -- Cyprus is a small island, so it is possible.”

    Deputy Traffic Director Doros Achilleou said he believed more police patrols were necessary on Friday and Saturday nights.

    “Another measure we aim to take is to increase traffic policing after midnight, with the focus on reducing speeding and drink driving.”

    He added that the fatal crash in the early hours of Sunday was likely to have been caused by speeding.

    “We are still investigating, but we suspect the car was going very fast.

    “Seven other people were caught speeding by police on the same stretch of road before the accident,” he added.

    Police have not ruled out the possibility that Marathovouniotis had been drinking, leading him to lose control of his car.

    “Autopsies have been taken and blood has been sent to be tested for alcohol. We should know the results in 15-20 days.”

    Traffic police have confirmed that so far the number of road accidents on the island this year is up by 57 per cent compared to last year, while the number of fatalities has already reached 22.

    Six people have died in multiple fatality crashes on the island in the past six days.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Wednesday, March 19, 2003

    [11] Mother of four dies

    By a Staff Reporter

    A 31-YEAR-OLD mother of four, Panayiota Michael from Kyperounta, died yesterday in the waiting room of a Limassol hospital where she had taken her child for a check-up.

    Reports said Michael took her infant child to the old Limassol hospital at around 7am, and she passed out in the cafeteria with the baby in her arms.

    Efforts to resuscitate Michael by witnesses were fruitless, and doctors had not yet arrived for work. The 31-year-old was rushed to the Limassol general hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival.

    Preliminary examination lead to speculation Michael died of a heart failure but the exact cause of her death will be known after a post mortem examination expected to be carried out today.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Wednesday, March 19, 2003

    [12] Three suspects remanded for refugee's murder

    By George Psyllides

    A 48-YEAR-OLD Pakistani man was found with his throat cut in his hotel room on Sunday night, a Nicosia court heard yesterday.

    Three suspects were yesterday remanded in custody for eight days in connection with the premeditated murder of political refugee Badar Mohiudin Jilani.

    One of the suspects, Nawaz Batt, 31, from Pakistan is in custody at the Nicosia general hospital. He was arrested there after seeking treatment for a broken leg and lacerations on his arms.

    Batt was allegedly named as the perpetrator of the crime by second suspect, 21-year-old Malik Mehmood also from Pakistan.

    Police believe Batt sustained his injuries while climbing out of the victim's second floor room in Nicosia's Alexandria hotel.

    Jilani was found by the owner and residents of the hotel with a huge gash in his throat.

    They told police they heard shouting in room 213 at around 11.20pm and were forced to break down the door because no one responded to their knocks.

    Police, who arrived on the scene soon afterwards, determined that the perpetrator of the gruesome act had escaped through the window and down the gutter pipe.

    Evidence at the scene indicated that the perpetrator or perpetrators had been injured in their attempt to climb down the pipe.

    Police immediately checked hospitals and clinics to see if anyone had sought treatment in the hours following the murder.

    At 5.55am on Monday, they were notified by staff at the Nicosia hospital that a foreigner with a broken leg and lacerations had been admitted.

    Police visited the man who allegedly failed to give satisfactory explanation on how he was injured.

    His wounds were examined by a pathologist who determined that the lacerations were caused by a sharp object, probably a knife.

    He was arrested at 9.20am and has been in custody at the hospital since.

    At 4.40pm on Monday afternoon police arrested Mehmood who allegedly admitted he was with Batt when Jilani was murdered.

    The court heard that the two suspects argued with the victim before Batt slashed Jilani's throat.

    It is thought that the three men quarrelled over financial issues.

    Reports said the three were part of a ring, which smuggled political refugees for a fee from the Turkish occupied north.

    The two left the scene on a motorcycle and met the third suspect, housemaid Thelikada Sunethra, 39, from Sri Lanka who is Batt's friend.

    The two men gave their bloodstained clothes to Sunethra who was meant to dispose of them.

    She was arrested 10 minutes after Mehmood.

    Police said they found substantial evidence at her residence.

    The court approved the police request and remanded the three suspects in custody for eight days.

    Batt's hearing took place in hospital, as he was too ill to appear before the court.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003


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