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Fifteen Cyprus Cops Face Charges in Bungled Serial Killer Case

NICOSIA – Cyprus’ Attorney-General Costas Clerides has told prosecutors to begin criminal cases against 15 police officers for mishandling an investigation into the murders of five foreign women and two of their children by a serial killer in 2019.

Former Army Captain Nikos Metaxas is serving life for the shocking killings that rocked the island for their sheer brutality and savagery, especially for the children, the police accused of being slow to react because the victims were foreigners.

He was convicted after a court found he had “embarked on a campaign to kill defenceless women,” and as he said at the time he didn’t know what drove him to do it, tearfully apologizing to the victim’s families.

"Cypriot society will be wondering how one of its members reached this point," he told the court in the capital Nicosia, adding: "I have also asked myself why; I have not yet managed to find an answer."

A statement by the Cypriot state legal services said,  “After a thorough study of all the evidence…the Attorney General ruled that criminal offences were indeed committed in the handling of these cases i.e. a failure to perform official duties by public officials,” The Financial Mirror reported.

That came after a probe into how Cyprus police officers initially handled missing person reports of the women and children whose bodies were later recovered in a lake, a field and a mineshaft, finding negligence in not taking missing people reports seriously.

The legal services said the evidence indicates that police actions “went beyond any possible disciplinary offences” that could be explained by oversight or workload and with other officers likely to face disciplinary action, instead of criminal proceedings.

The inquiry was ordered after growing outrage and a public outcry that some of the victims deaths could have been prevented if police had acted sooner to catch Metaxas before he could kill again.

A four-member team of investigators was assigned to the case last year to examine potential shortcomings in the way the police handled the missing person’s reports.

Several of the victims were reported missing by friends or relatives who said police had failed to take them seriously. The Police Chief was fired.

Metaxas abducted and murdered his seven victims – who came from the Philippines, Romania and Nepal – between September 2016 and August 2018. The two children, aged six and eight, were daughters of two of the women.

Police said Metaxas, a divorced father of two, met the women online, four of whom were employed as housekeepers.

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