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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 99-02-24

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Wednesday, February 24, 1999

'Spies ply conscripts with heroin'

Following the Green Monday bank holiday, only two afternoon papers appeared yesterday.

Apogevmatini focused on two 'exposés', one involving spies and the other allegedly corrupt police officers.

The paper's lead story was headlined "Foreign agents interrogate national guardsmen." Apogevmatini claimed that young soldiers were being offered heroin in exchange for information about the country's defence.

The paper continued that alleged agents were at work on the island in "unsuspicious professions" and had the means to import goods, "without particular customs control".

Also on Apogevmatini's front page was a story claiming that "senior officers are helping criminals and drug addicts enlist into the police force."

The paper said the officers gave certain candidates advance warning of the questions set for entrance examinations, resulting in their certain success.

Another 'scandal' also made it to the covers, alleging that files of serious criminal offences regularly "disappeared" from Ayia Napa police station.

Apogevmatini said that Akel deputy Kikis Yiangou had raised the issue in a letter to the president of the House's ad hoc committee on crime.

According to Yiangou's letter, "during 1997, there were 31 cases of break- ins at shops, but only 13 ended up on the serious crime register." Also during 1997, 47 house break-ins were reported, with only four being recorded on the Register.

Yiangou wants an independent investigator appointed to investigate the issue.

I Deilini lead on the fallout of the Ocalan affair under the headline, "Simitis is battling his mistakes." The paper said there was a general political consensus that Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis was now "a Prime Minister with an expiry date." I Deilini continued that even Simitis' fellow Pasok members feared that "every passing day will be more difficult for the PM in particular and the party in general."

The paper continued by quoting Greece's Kathimerini which said that the next two weeks would be "especially critical" for Simitis.

Continuing on the Ocalan theme, I Deilini reported on the opinion of Greece's artistic community.

The paper said that the great majority of Greece's writers and artists had condemned their government for its role in Ocalan's capture. I Deilini said that the artists' representatives "wondered how they could rid themselves of the shame."

The paper also reported hat Ocalan's appeal to the European Court of Human Rights would be heard yesterday.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999

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