Findings of an independent investigation into police mishandling of reports of missing persons which later emerged as victims of the island’s first serial killer, Nicos Metaxas, were delivered to the Attorney-General on Thursday, though their publication is illegal, the lead investigator said.
“The material was hefty, though at the moment we are not in a position to make decisions,” Attorney-General Costas Clerides said, adding that any decisions to be made will not be burdened by time constraints.
The President of the investigative body, Andreas Paschalides, said that he had delivered a sum of three reports to Clerides. The first involved the findings of the investigation, the second contained his own report based on the findings, while the third was a report by a committee which also studied the results.
Paschalides stressed that publication of these documents is strictly prohibited by the law, though he did not confirm or deny the number of policemen that would face disciplinary punishment.
It recently emerged that the investigation had found some 20 police officers culpable to varying degrees, and recommended that they are prosecuted.
The 35-year-old army officer Nicos Metaxas had the island on edge for months last year as police scrambled to retrieve the bodies of his seven victims – five women and two children aged six and eight.
The matter came to the surface in April 2019, when heavy rain hoisted the body of one of Metaxas’ victims which he had dumped in a mine shaft in Mitsero. The body was spotted by a photographer, setting off a storm of unsettling developments, with the remaining six bodies being retrieved steadily from various locations.
The case had severely affected the reputation of Cyprus police, as they had failed to properly investigate the missing persons reports filed for the Metaxas’ victims, which may had stopped the killer in his tracks before all seven lives were taken.
The storm caused by the case had led to the resignation of Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou and the dismissal of the Chief of Police, Zacharias Chrysostomou.