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26 March, 2023
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Two more charged in Ledra protest

Cypriot police attempting to identify more possible suspects in barricade breach at Ledra checkpoint


Two more people were detained for questioning in connection with the Ledra protest last week, with police seeking out more individuals.

(Click here for an update to the story)

Police told Knews on Thursday that two individuals were called to a local police station and charged with unlawful assembly and causing public disorder. It was not clear whether they were detained on arrest warrants.

The case began after videos showed protesters in the south last weekend defying police instructions and breaching safety barricades in an attempt to cross into the north.

More possible suspects were being sought but police stopped short of saying whether more than one arrest warrant had been issued in connection with the Ledra protest

On Thursday morning, police spokesman Christos Andreou, who was a guest on a show on Politis radio, said two people had been identified by investigators, while more possible suspects in connection with the incident were being sought.

“Some individuals appear to have carried out illegal acts, such as pushing and shoving law enforcement officers, attempting to move safety barricades, despite police presence and an explicit order to block their way,” Andreou said.

But police stopped short of saying whether arrest warrants had been issued in connection with the Ledra protest, besides one known case of a man who was remanded in custody for two days on the same charges as well as assault charges.

Police told Knews that whether arrest warrants are issued or not is not was not the kind of information that investigators choose to disclose, unless there is a basis to inform the public.

Knews understands that the man facing assault charges will appear in court in April while the two individuals charged this week will face a separate trial.

The protest took place last weekend when members of the public gathered at the Ledra checkpoint, which was closed on orders from the government administration citing health concerns over the coronavirus.

Critics say the measure did not make any sense, as a number of other crossings as well as ports of entry remained opened and no cases had been confirmed on the ethnically-divided island.

The government insists that specific closings, initially for seven days, were intended to assist state officials in better handling the coronavirus threat following fears that thousands of foreign students in the north came from high risk countries, such as Iran.

Officials have denied reports that the closing of the checkpoints was a political move, saying they were prepared to shut down more locations or reverse the decision and keep them all open based on official advice regarding the evolution of the coronavirus threat.

The closings have been extended through Monday, March 9.

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