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17 June, 2024
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Legal maneuvering clouds Thanasis' inquest, verdict on May 10th

Accusations fly as cause of guardsman's death debated


In a culmination of legal proceedings, the coroner's inquest into the death of 26-year-old national guardsman Thanasis Nikolaou concluded today, with a decision slated for May 10th.

Outside the courtroom, members of the Pan-Cyprian Committee of Mothers - Relatives of National Guardsmen (PEMSE) gathered in solidarity with Thanasis Nikolaou's family, displaying banners and placards.

Representatives from both sides presented their arguments during the proceedings. The Legal Service underscored the lack of evidence supporting foul play in Nikolaou's death, refuting claims made by his mother and highlighting inconsistencies in testimonies.

Particular focus was given to the testimony of pathologist Dimitra Karagianni, with the Legal Service suggesting her conclusions lacked scientific basis regarding the cause of death.

While acknowledging investigative shortcomings, particularly in the testimony of criminal investigator Savvas Matsas, the Legal Service cautioned against attributing blame without substantial evidence.

The family's lawyer, however, presented a written statement asserting new evidence following exhumation, suggesting foul play involving individuals, including soldiers from Nikolaou's unit.

Emphasizing the absence of external injuries indicative of a fall, the family urged the coroner to consider their conclusion of strangulation, dismissing forensic examiner Panikos Stavrianou's findings as flawed.

The coroner expressed gratitude to both sides for their contributions and announced that a decision would be made public on May 10th at noon.

[With information sourced from CNA]

Cyprus  |  crime  |  law  |  soldier  |  death

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