The Supreme Court has ruled that an independent report should be handed over to the defence team of the former deputy chief of police, who is facing charges in connection with the leaking of information in the Ayia Napa mob killings of 2016.
Deputy Police Chief Andreas Kyriacou is facing charges in connection with leaks by Cyprus police, when an Interpol Nicosia officer had dialed a Serbian phone number without justification, alerting a criminal mastermind that cops were closing in on his hit men in Cyprus.
Cyprus police said that the phone call had been placed in error but questions were raised by their Serbian counterparts, who were monitoring a criminal network and notified Cypriot authorities of an impending shootout, claiming Cypriot cops had done more than just calling a number, alleging possible corruption in alerting the criminals.
On 23 June 2016, Ayia Napa businessman Phanos Kalopsidiotis and three others, including an off duty cop, were shot dead while sitting outside at his restaurant.
Kyriacou says he is innocent, with his defence attorney insisting they need access to information about who handled information in the confidential files
The former deputy, who was removed from his duties by President Nicos Abastasiades, is also facing charges of mishandling private or sensitive information in connection with the case and its investigation.
Kyriacou says he is innocent of the charges against him, with his defence attorney insisting they should have access to more information about who handled the information in the confidential files.
Last year, Kyriacou’s defence attorney got access to findings from two separate internal probes, but then a legal battle ensued as to whether additional information should have been handed over.
The prosecutor in the case argued that findings from an independent probe contained highly confidential information, making it impossible to share with the defence team.
But the Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that a third report, conducted by three independent investigators, ought to be shared with the defence team on the basis that it was pertinent to the trial, thus overruling a previous lower court ruling.
Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou is expected to testify for the prosecution in Kyriacou's trial.
Police investigating themselves
Following a broader discussion police corruption, an issue came up in a House committee last week regarding possible conflict of interest among investigators, especially forensic pathologists.
“There is potential conflict of interest among forensic examiners, who are being called to investigate complaints against the police while at the same working for the police either on a contractual basis or freelance,” opposition party Akel MP Aristos Damianou said.
The MP also pointed out in some investigators who are asked to investigate cops could be the same individuals after retiring from the force.
The committee was looking into the effectiveness of a special task force overseeing how complaints against the police were being handled.
Diko MP Zacharias Koulias summed up the committee hearing by saying that the task force cannot do its job properly.
“Essentially, [the task force] has been stripped and cannot carry out its mission that was assigned to it in accordance with the law,” Koulias said.
The house commitee also heard about the improvements made over the years, with police striving to do a better job in addressing citizen concerns.