CYPRIOT COURT FINDS EX-DEFENSE MINISTER GUILTY OF MANSLAUGHTER
July 9, 2013 – 16:30 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net – A Cypriot court found a former defense minister
guilty of manslaughter and negligence on Tuesday, July 9, for the
deaths of 13 people in a massive munitions blast in 2011 which knocked
out the island’s largest power station and had a crippling effect on
the economy, Reuters reported.
Costas Papacostas, who served in the island’s former communist
government, was found to have direct responsibility over the
safe-keeping of a cargo of confiscated Iranian munitions, which
exploded in the early hours of July 11, 2011.
Compressed gunpowder and shell casings were stored for months in
scorching heat and warnings from subordinates about growing risks
were ignored, the court said.
“We have no doubt the defendant was aware of the risks… but closed
his eyes to the danger,” presiding Criminal Court Judge Tefkros
Economou said in his verdict at a hearing attended by dozens of
relatives clutching photos of the victims.
Marcos Kyprianou, a former foreign minister and EU commissioner also
on trial, was cleared of negligence charges along with the deputy
head of the island’s army, the national guard.
Three senior officials in the island’s fire service were also convicted
of negligence. The court will pass down sentencing on July 24.
From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress