Paphos Mayor Phedonas Phedonos has levelled new accusations against Cyprus police, pointing to a prison inmate abuse with hot water that was not reported as well as saying he has evidence that cops knew about secret drone operations while dismissing his allegations on the matter.
An ongoing confrontation between Phedonos and the police has taken to new heights this week, with the mayor calling in on a TV show on Tuesday to make public comments while Police Spokesperson Andreas Angelides was the guest on the programme.
“During the Flood Festival holiday weekend, an inmate - and I know his name - was forced to take a shower with very hot water. And when he went to the Ayios Dhometios police station to file a complaint, they forced him not to file a report because other inmates had made threats,” the mayor said on a midday talk show on Sigma TV.
Phedonos explained that the brother of the inmate, upon hearing that the incident had caused burns on his brother’s body, called police to complain about police officers not taking a statement from the victim.
“This not a random act where I simply want to risk my life. I’m not doing this for publicity"
On Wednesday night, Phedonos wrote on social media the initials of the inmate, pointing out that he has specific evidence.
Angelides, who declined to remain in the studio following the completion of his segment during the show, said moments earlier that police have responded to allegations made by Phedonos regarding a claim that senior officers were not taking actions against crime even though they had information at least six months in advance.
“These are allegations by Mr. Phedonos and we have repeatedly responded through public statements… and our statements were very clear,” Angelides said.
The allegations were levelled against the police following a series of arrests in connection with organised crime, which took place only after the mayor had mounted a public campaign against “cops who were having friendly chats with known drug dealers” in his town.
The reporter offered to Angelides the concern that citizens are having questions over police actions, with the spokesperson going on the defence saying that officers have a good idea of what people think about police.
“We are one of the few public organisations that have the public’s respect and we try through our actions to stand next to our citizens, while correcting any mistakes or oversights, and constantly carrying out our duties,” Angelides said.
Mayor says police act after he goes public
Another main issue that both guests discussed separately was the allegations by Phedonos that police knew about drone operations that deliver mobile phones inside the Nicosia Central Prisons for inmate use.
Phedonos said he has information that police knew about the operation while at the same time criticising the mayor for making unsubstantiated allegations.
He offered an example where a female sergeant had located a drone, saying that he has in his possession a photograph showing mobile phones inside the prison.
He also said he knows about a training session last week where police officers were being trained on anti-drone operations, while no such training took place before the mayor spoke out publicly.
“They publicly refute what I have to say, but do you know what they say behind closed doors? Do something because the mayor will come at us again,” he said.
Phedonos finally issued a warning to police.
“When the mayor goes public to say something, this is not a random act where I simply want to risk my life. I’m not doing this for publicity,” he said.