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18 June, 2024
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Officers named in serial killer probe

Independent probe names 23 police officers in 'Orestis investigation' in Cyprus


An independent probe into police handling of missing complaints in the serial killer case has been completed, with investigators naming 23 officers for failing to do their job.

According to local media, an independent probe by four assigned investigators was expected to be submitted probably on Friday, following a long and protracted investigation into possible failure and dereliction of duty on the part of police in connection with the Orestis serial killer case.

Authorities were heavily criticized in the wake of gruesome discoveries earlier this year, after bodies of foreign women and children who had been reported as missing revealed a failure on the part of police to properly handle missing complaints.

The investigation reportedly names 23 law enforcement officials serving at different levels, primarily police officers at Criminal Investigation Departments, including supervisors in those offices as well as administrative officers who oversaw the handling or closing of missing cases and did not intervene.

The investigators found 'tragic mistakes' into complaints of missing foreign women, where in some cases police had not bothered to check if their phones were operating

Four investigators, who carried out the probe, found “tragic mistakes” during the course of investigations into complaints of missing women, adding that in some cases police had not even checked to see if their phones were operating.

In one case, the report slams the police for not taking statements from a missing woman’s friends and relatives until three months after the disappearance.

Police Chief Kypros Michaelides, whose predecessor was fired over the serial killer case, was quick to offer an apology following criticism about mishandling cases of missing foreign women and children who ended up being murdered by 35-year-old convicted serial killer Nikos Metaxas, also known as Orestis, a Greek Cypriot army captain and skilled photographer.

The report will be submitted to the head of the Independent Authority for the Investigation of Allegations and Complaints Against the Police, Andreas Paschalides, who will then offer his own remarks to the authority along with the probe results.

Attorney General Costas Clerides will then receive all the documents and determine whether criminal or disciplinary offences have been committed. Based on the Constitution, only the attorney general can order a criminal prosecution of the officers named in the probe.

The victims were 38-year-old Marry Rose Tiburcio from the Philippines, whose body was found in an abandoned mineshaft in rural Nicosia, and her daughter, 6-year-old Sierra Graze Seucalliuc whose boody was tossed into a nearby lake. The body of Αrian Palanas Lozano, 28 years old also from the Philippines was found along with Marry Rose, while another Filipina, 30-year-old Maricar Valdez Arquiola, was found in a red lake near the mineshaft inside a suitcase.

Two others were found in suitcases in the same red lake, Romanian mother Livia Florentina Bunea, 36, and her 8-year-old daughter Elena Natalia Bunea. All six victims died of strangulation while another woman from Nepal, 30-year-old Asmita Khadka Bista, died of head trauma and parts of her body were found in a remote pit on a military firing range also in rural Nicosia.

Metaxas was sentenced to life in prison after he pleaded guilty to all murder charges. He was facing charges of premeditated murder, kidnapping, abduction with murder intent, evidence tampering, and hindering an investigation.

Cyprus  |  Orestis  |  serial killer  |  Mitseros  |  Philippines  |  Romania  |  Nepal  |  Nikos Metaxas  |  foreign  |  missing women  |  rape  |  disappearance  |  police  |  domestic worker

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