Police are learning valuable information that could crack wide open a shocking school prank in Paralimni, where animals were killed during a battlefield-style back-to-school display, but investigators say they want a larger pool of witnesses before they can identify perpetrators or even say whether non-students had been involved.
About two dozen high school students have been questioned by police so far, according to local media, in connection with Monday’s Paralimni school prank that involved the torturing and/or death of animals during a frightening display. A group of high school seniors were captured on video throwing smoke bombs, firecrackers, and flares in the main courtyard, along with live animals.
Reports said police have obtained videos of Monday’s incident, both clips published on social media as well as other images not seen by the public, with the additional evidence being described as an integral part in the investigation.
Police say students being questioned are over 14 years old, which means individuals who may become suspects could be charged with a criminal offence
The case made headline news on Tuesday after the Animal Party Cyprus and others posted shocking videos of animal abuse and/or death in front of high school students who were either cheering on or horrified over at the despicable sight.
Police are keeping a tight lid on the case, with investigators reportedly wanting to get statements from a lot more students and other individuals before they can determine or rule out the involvement of non-students or outsiders. Media sources said teachers and possibly parents were among the non-student group targeted for questioning.
Local media took note of police clarifying that all students who were being questioned in the case were over 14 years old, which meant individuals who became suspects during the course of the investigation could be charged with a criminal offence.
According to the justice system in the Republic of Cyprus, no person under the age of seven can be criminally responsible for any act or omission, while older children below the age of 14 cannot face criminal prosecution as any offence they commit can be described as an infraction.
An effort to create a juvenile justice system, where minors as young as first graders can be held accountable for certain actions, is still in the works.