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Nicosia,
21 April, 2019
 
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Commando facing weapons charges loses appeal

Supreme Court says search warrants issued by a district judge did not break any laws

Newsroom

A military commando officer who is fighting possession charges for weapons and explosives has lost his appeal to the Supreme Court, with judges finding that search warrants issued by a civilian judge did not break any laws.

A 47-year-old first sergeant, who was arrested last year following the discovery of hidden weapons and explosives in Stavrovouni army base, had been court-martialed in Nicosia.

Last August, a maintenance worker carrying out repairs in the ceiling inside the communal showers at the camp, Larnaca distirct, discovered a military poncho stashed away. Authorities were called in and found a revolver, explosives, a match cord, a hood, a smoke grenade and a hand grenade all wrapped inside the tarp.

'The officer who requested the search warrant had the power vested in him by law to act as he did and the district court had the authority to grant his request'

DNA tests pointed to first sergeant, who was remanded for six days by the Larnaca District Court. But the charges violated military code, and so the commando officer was summoned to appear before a special court-martial in Nicosia.

The defendant then filed a request for a judicial review, arguing that a search warrants issued by a district courts was unlawful in his case. The commando officer went on to cite a 1964 army law that gives full jurisdiction to military courts over civilian courts in army affairs.

But the initial Certiorari request was rejected and the first sergeant took his case to the Supreme Court, which also dismissed the claim.

“The officer who requested the search warrant had the power vested in him by law to act as he did and the district court had the authority to grant his request,” the Supreme Court said.

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