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26 November, 2022
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British MP pushes for justice in George Low murder

Gareth Johnson visits Cyprus to kickstart new effort in Ayia Napa cold case


British MP Gareth Johnson is scheduled to arrive on the island on Wednesday, where he hopes to push local authorities to being justice in the murder of George Low back in 2016.

Low, a 22-year-old real estate agent with business connections in Ayia Napa, was killed in a knife attack back in August 2016, outside a nightclub in the resort town, while his 24-year-old friend Ben Barker was stabbed repeatedly but survived the attack.

The incident took place following a public urination incident and an altercation the two friends had with two other men, 46-year-old Bulgarian national Sali Ahmet of Turkish origin and 26-year-old Turkish national Mehmet Akpinar of Kurdish origin.

George’s parents expressed their frustration with state authorities in the Republic of Cyprus but also Turkish Cypriot officials in the north

The two suspects, who were initially misidentified as local Turkish Cypriots, quickly emerged as suspects but had already managed to escape to the north of the divided island after getting help from a 50-year-old Greek Cypriot woman, who was said to have been dating Akpinar in the south at the time.

While they were detained by Turkish Cypriot police on unrelated charges, including military zone entry violations, officials in the north say they asked for the evidence against Akpinar and Sali to be handed over, so that the two suspects could be tried in a Turkish Cypriot court in the north.

But Greek Cypriot officials insisted the two suspects be handed over to face trial in the Republic of Cyprus, as the crime took place in the south. However, the north is not officially recognised as a state except by Turkey and it does not have any extradition agreements.

Johnson, whose local constituents back in Dartford include the Low family, says he hopes his visit will help kickstart a new effort to bring George’s killers to justice.

“I want to try and kickstart everything to try and ensure that we get justice for George Low and of course his family too,” Johnson told the BBC.

Johnson is expected to meet with police and government officials, but it was not immediately clear whether the MP had plans to make contacts on both sides of the island.

George’s parents, Martyn and Helen Low, spoke with Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis back in June, expressing their frustration with state authorities in the Republic of Cyprus but also Turkish Cypriot officials in the north.

“If north and south were united, the perpetrators would have been punished,” they said.

Cyprus  |  Ayia Napa  |  George Low  |  Ben Barker  |  murder  |  police  |  crime  |  Johnson  |  MP  |  British  |  Greek  |  Turkish  |  Cypriot  |  Turkey  |  Akpinar  |  Ahmet

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