A man who was arrested at a Nicosia checkpoint after being accused of assaulting a police officer says video footage of the encounter has disappeared.
According to Philenews, a local resident described as a 60-year-old Greek Cypriot male was prosecuted by authorities on assault charges after police alleged he had attacked an officer at the Agios Dometios checkpoint more than two years ago.
The man had attempted to cross from south into the north late at night on 27 June 2017, when an incident occurred between him and a police officer. According to reported facts, the local man had a heated exchange with the officer during a northbound traffic delay with many cars waiting in line.
Police arrested the man on charges of assaulting an officer and handcuffed him on the spot. He was later taken to a local station where charges were pressed against him and he was subsequently released.
But reports said the video had been deleted possibly on the same day and was nowhere to be found when investigators went to look for the tapes
It is understood that the encounter was recorded by security cameras, with the detained man asking police to save the footage, alleging he was unlawfully detained and that officers treated him with disrespect and excessive force.
But reports said the video had been deleted possibly on the same day and was nowhere to be found when investigators went to look for the tape.
An independent investigator who looked into the matter said there was no basis for prosecution either against the local man or the police officer in question, while raising the possibility that the checkpoint supervisor faced prosecution for failing to carry out duties with due diligence.
Philenews reported on Wednesday that the Legal Department went forward with the man’s prosecution on assault charges and public disorderly conduct, while the supervisor also faced charges of dereliction of duty.
The local man told Philenews he already raised the issue of the video footage disappearance with the courts and further suggested he was being prosecuted unfairly because he couldn’t draw on a crucial piece of evidence.
He also accused authorities of using the checkpoint supervisor as a scapegoat, saying the man in charge at the checkpoint wasn’t supposed to have access to CCTV.