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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 99-01-28

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Thursday, January 28, 1999

Gangland war likely to continue

THE LATEST gangland killing was the main news in all the Greek language papers yesterday.

George Ioannou, alias Koutsouthkias, was the tenth victim of a gangland turf war that had been raging since 1995, Alithia reported.

The man arrested in connection with the dawn shooting in Limassol, Pavlos Hadjicostas, was the son of gangland figure Michalos - who died in a "mysterious" accident in 1995, the paper said.

Father and son were close friends of the Aeroporos family - two of whom have been murdered in recent months, the paper added.

The victim was a close friend of Tassos Simellides, who had testified against three Aeroporos brothers during their trial for the attempted murder of gambling club owner Antonis Fanieros in 1997.

Machi reported that Ioannou's killing had been a well-planned, professional hit. The paper added that police had been warned that the victim might be in danger.

Simerini focused on statements made by Justice Minister Nicos Koshis after the hit. The minister admitted that police were powerless to stop the bloodletting by rival underworld gangs. The tit-for-tat killings were likely to continue, Koshis was quoted as saying.

Phileleftheros went big on the murder but also gave front page space to the saga of an Anthoupolis priest - the latest "scandal" to rock the local Church.

Father Panayiotis is to be transferred by the Archbishopric, for reasons that have not been made clear. This has sparked a strong reaction from parishioners at father Panayiotis's Ayios Neophytos church - with whom the priest has struck up a good rapport, the paper reported.

Tuesday's vespers was the last service father Panayiotis was to preside over before his transfer to the Ayios Heiraklidios convent, Phileleftheros reported. As the bells rang out to announce the start of the service, dozens of angry parishioners demonstrated against the Archbishopric decision to transfer their favourite. The protestors focused their anger on members of the Ayios Neophytos church, whom they charge with undermining their priest because of "personal differences."

The fact that Panayiotis was being moved to a nunnery proved he was not being transferred for reasons of "moral impropriety," the paper stated.

An Archbishopric source had made it clear the problem with the priest was nothing to do with abuse of authority or mismanagement either, the paper said.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999

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