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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Officer in Hadjicostis case refusing to testify ]

Officer in Hadjicostis case refusing to testify

George Psyllides

A POLICE officer, member of the secret service, is facing disciplinary action over his failure to inform his superiors about intelligence regarding the murder of a media boss in January.

The officer allegedly had information of the plan to kill Andis Hadjicostis, one month before the murder.

Police spokesman Michalis Katsounotos, said the officer faced two disciplinary investigations for failing to inform his superiors and refusing to give written statement.

“No member of the force can act or behave at will,” Katsounotos said.

The spokesman said the first inquiry has been completed and the officer now faced disciplinary action.

The second investigation was ordered recently after the officer refused to provide a written statement about the murder of Hadjicostis who was gunned down outside his Nicosia home in January.

Officers “must comply with the legal and regulatory framework in force, especially during the execution of their duties,” Katsounotos said.

It is understood that the officer is also refusing to testify before court.

“If he was not a member of the force there would not be any prosecution,” Katsounotos said of the loophole regarding witness testimonies.

He added that the time was ripe for the state to look into whether potential witnesses could be forced to testify in court.

Three suspects currently face trial for the murder of Hadjicostis: television presenter Elena Skordelli, 42, her brother Tasos Krasopoulis, 37, and Andreas Gregoriou, 33.

They all deny the charges. A fifth suspect Theophanis Hadjigeorgiou was acquitted of all charges and entered into a witness protection programme after agreeing to testify against the others.

The alleged trigger-man, 29-year-old Gregoris Xenofontos had fled the island three days after the murder but was recently arrested in Moldova and is awaiting his extradition procedure to begin.

(Source: Cyprus Mail)
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2008 Please contact Cyprus Mail for the copyright terms of this article.

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