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12° Nicosia,
21 November, 2019
 
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First lawsuit against police in serial killer case

Lawyer says client worries evidence in slain Romanian mother-daughter case could disappear

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A lawsuit against the police is expected to be filed Tuesday in the serial killer case, with a lawyer saying his client is seeking damages but also trying to protect evidence and testimonies that could “vanish” in the future.

According to local media, Greek Cypriot attorney Yiannis Ioannou is representing the husband of 36-year-old Romanian mother Livia Florentina Bunea and her 8-year-old daughter Elena Natalia, whose bodies were recently recovered from the red lake in rural Nicosia.

Ioannou, who spoke with local media on Monday, says the husband and father is filing a lawsuit against the police in the Republic of Cyprus as well as a civil suit against alleged serial killer Nikos Metaxas, seeking damages in both cases.

“The negligence and baffling unprofessionalism of police officers has been obvious,” said Ioannou, noting that the police chief and other state officials took responsibility for their mistakes.

Bad apples

But the lawyer, who gave statements to state media, also expressed concern over evidence in the case and depositions by witnesses, saying he feared some of it might disappear in the future.

“I believe that a lot of the evidence and witness statements may not exist in the future in this self-righteous place called Cyprus,” the lawyer said.

According to legal experts, the lawsuit implies that evidence would have to be made public during the trial.

'We have excellent cops, but there are also bad apples and this is precisely what makes my client worry about'

“We have excellent cops, but there are also bad apples and this is precisely what makes my client worry about,” the lawyer said.

Livia was last seen alive in September 2016 with her daughter, with police receiving multiple complaints about the missing duo but allegedly failing to investigate properly. Ioannou says they intend to prove this through evidentiary proceedings and documentary evidence.

The suspect, a 35-year-old Greek Cypriot army captain also known as Orestis, reportedly told crime investigators that he killed both mother and daughter, placed them in suitcases and dumped them in the red lake right across from the abandoned mine shaft in Mitseros.

In the meantime, it was reported in the media that Livia and her daughter are expected to be buried on Thursday after a funeral service in a local community in rural Nicosia. The state is reportedly covering funeral expenses.

It was previously thought that the bodies would have been flown back to Romania after the autopsies, but a local community leader came forward saying one of Livia’s relatives in Cyprus asked that she and her daughter be buried in Cyprus.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  Romania  |  police  |  serial killer  |  Orestis  |  Livia  |  Elena Natalia  |  Bunea  |  red lake  |  missing

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