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Cyprus report Cyprus report
by Euro Reporter
2010-04-22 08:13:21
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Turkey still refuses to probe missing issue

President of the Committee of Relatives of Undeclared Prisoners and Missing Persons, Nicos Theodosiou, said that Turkey still refuses to comply with a ruling of the European Court of Human Rights, which calls on Ankara to help investigations into the fate of Greek Cypriots, who as a result of the Turkish invasion in 1974, were reported missing.

Speaking at a press conference on the occasion of the 26th Marathon of Love for Missing Persons, 19 - 25 April, Theodosiou said that the issue of missing persons does not only include the exhumation of remains and their identification with the DNA method. “Exhumation and identification are only part of the investigating process”, he went on to say. He explained that twice, in 2009 and 2001, the plenary session of the European Court of Human Rights has ordered Turkey to give information about the fate of each and every missing person.

“Turkey has not cooperated on any level, no single case has been investigated”, he added. Speaking at the press conference, Archbishop Chrysostomos II said that the humanitarian issue of missing persons is of great importance for the Church of Cyprus and is among its priorities. “We must insist until the end because those who have died demand vindication. Their families and children also demand this”, he said.

Archbishop dismisses Eroglu as irrelevant

Archbishop Chrysostomos II said that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan would have benefited from a meeting with him because he would have shown that Turkey is a democratic country which is interested in the preservation of church monuments in the Turkish occupied north. In statements at Larnaca International Airport on his return from Brussels and Constantinople where he held talks with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the Archbishop was invited to comment on the result of the “elections” in the Turkish occupied areas that resulted with Dervis Eroglu’s victory over Mehmet Ali Talat.

“It makes no difference because at the end what will happen is what Ankara wants”, he added. The Archbishop said he returns from both cities with “many experiences”, adding our leadership, both the state and Church, must be on a national alert and lead the people by outlining a strategy, because only if we are assertive we will achieve our aims”. He referred to his meeting with “Patriarch Bartholomew and the talks that followed where they reviewed the situation at both Churches and underlined that we are always close to the Ecumenical Patriarchate”.

Noting that even though the Church of Cyprus might be a small one, “it can help to a large extent the Ecumenical Patriarchate and other orthodox churches and with a lot of love”. Invited to comment on the reasons why he did not meet the Turkish Premier, the Archbishop said “we went with good will and we were ready to meet him but he did not want”, adding that “Erdogan would have benefited from a meeting, because it would have shown to the world and especially the Europeans, that Turkey is a democratic country, is interested in the restoration of our monuments, the issue which would have been at the epicentre of our talks”. He also said Erdogan had never replied whether he would meet the Archbishop or not. Asked if he would respond to an invitation from Erdogan, the Archbishop replied “If he invites me, surely I will go”.


Third accused in media murder to stand trial

Meat supplier Andreas Gregoriou on Wednesday pleaded not guilty before the Assizes to the contract killing of media tycoon Andis Hadjicostis and will stand trial on June 7. The 33-year-old will stand in the dock with well-known television host Elena Skordelli, 42 and her brother Tassos Krasopoulis, 37.

All three deny charges of premeditated murder and conspiracy to murder, conspiracy to commit a crime plus the use and transport of a firearm and explosives. They face possible life sentences if convicted.
The trio will remain in custody until their trial date. The murder weapon has still not been recovered, and police say a fourth suspect, the alleged gunman Gregoris Xenophontos, is still at large and believed to be abroad. An international arrest warrant has been issued for him.

Investigators accuse Skordelli, a mother of two, and her brother of ordering the contract killing on January 11 of Hadjicostis, 42, who was gunned down outside his home near the US embassy. The motive was allegedly revenge after Skordelli had been eased out of the Dias media empire even though she was a shareholder.

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