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25 June, 2024
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Nicosia court stunned in Interpol media leak trial

State prosecutor has no plans to hand over report on leaked Serbian information


A state prosecutor could be held in contempt by a Nicosia court if she fails to hand over a criminal probe finding in connection with the leaking of Interpol information in the Ayia Napa mob killings of 2016.

The criminal probe finding in question served as a basis for the state to build a case against former deputy police chief Andreas Kyriacou, who is on trial for leaking information to the media that embarassed Cyprus police.

But the state prosecutor, who refused to hand over the findings when Kyriacou's defence team requested them, took the matter to the Supreme Court to prevent a judge from ordering the evidence to be handed over.

The Supreme Court sided with the Nicosia District Court, saying the trial ought to go forward and the findings should be submitted to the defence as evidence.

The state prosecutor maintains that the attorney general does not plan to hand over the evidence

Kyriacou, whose appointment was terminated by President Nicos Anastasiades last year, is accused of leaking information that showed an Interpol Nicosia officer dialed a Serbian private phone number without justification.

The phone call alerted a Serbian criminal mastermind, who got wind of cops closing in on his hit men in Cyprus. Nicosia later said the call was an honest mistake while Interpol Belgrade did not rule out other reasons behind the error.

Leaked information made it all the way to a parliament committee hearing and parts of it found their way to media outlets, showing incompetence at the very least and embarrassing Cyprus police worldwide.

On Friday, Judge Nicholas Georgiades of the Nicosia District Court was shocked when he heard state prosecutor Christia Kythreotou relaying the attorney general’s refusal to hand over evidence, even after the Supreme Court sided with the judge’s earlier decision.

“I am stunned,” Judge Georgiades said.

Kythreotou’s refusal came one month after the Supreme Court on May 31 reaffirmed an earlier court decision that said the state prosecution ought to hand over the evidence to the defence team.

The attorney general insists the criminal probe finding is not considered evidence in the case, adding the prosecutor already provided information relevant to Kyriacou’s case from two other probes.

But Kyriacou’s lawyer, Andros Pelekanos, says the criminal probe finding had formed a basis for bringing charges against his client.

The document in question concluded that “the only person who could leak confidential and sensitive information from the Interpol file to the media would have been Deputy Chief of Police A. Kyriacou.”

Pelekanos also scolded Kythreotou, who was acting on behalf of the attorney general who himself took the matter to the Supreme Court.

“If the decision was not to hand it over, would [the attorney general] respect that one?” Pelekanos wondered out loud.

The attorney general had requested a legal opinion from the Supreme Court as to whether or not the state prosecution would have an obligation to hand over the criminal probe finding, which was requested by the defence.

Pelekanos also wondered “what if the findings were put together in bad faith or there were ulterior motives, who is going to determine that?”

Judge orders evidence handed over in 15 days

The judge ordered the state prosecutor to hand over the evidence within 15 days otherwise she could be held in contempt of court.

The state prosecutor maintains that the attorney general does not plan to hand over the evidence.

Knews understands that another refusal at this point could prompt the judge to dismiss the case.

Next trial date is set for September 26.

Cyprus  |  Serbia  |  Interpol  |  Kyriacou  |  Kalopsidiotis  |  Ayia Napa  |  court  |  Nicosia  |  crime  |  mob

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