x

Society

Wrong Number: Cyprus Cop Mistakenly Calls Hitman

NICOSIA — Cyprus police were investigating Aug. 8 how an officer mistakenly telephoned a Serbian who was suspected of being the ringleader in a Mafia-linked assassination plot.

Police spokesman Andreas Angelides said the officer intended to call his counterpart at Interpol’s office in Serbia in March this year, but erroneously called the suspect instead.

An initial investigation found it was a genuine mistake and not corruption-related. A second probe will determine if the officer will face any disciplinary measures.

Cyprus police say the error happened after they were informed by Belgrade about a planned assassination attempt, but insisted the tip-off didn’t specifically name anyone as the intended target.

Critics claim the gaffe warned the plot ringleaders, who reworked their plans and postponed the assassination to June, when a 51-year-old Cypriot businessman was killed in the resort of Ayia Napa.

The debacle came to light after daily Phileleftheros published leaked police documents. The paper reported that Serbian Interpol had information a Cypriot prison guard may have been involved in the case.

No one has been convicted yet of the killing of Fanos Kalopsidiotis who had also been the target of an earlier assassination bid four years ago.

Kalopsidiotis was shot multiple times by two gunmen as he was dining in a busy restaurant with a policeman, the officer’s wife and their two children.

The police couple was also killed in the exchange of gunfire, but the children were unhurt. One of the gunmen was also killed, while his cohort escaped and is still being sought.

Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou said he has asked Attorney General Petros Clerides to appoint an independent criminal investigator to look into whether corrupt police officers were in any way involved in the killing, as well as how police handled the information provided by Serbian authorities.

“The road to eliminating corruption from the police force won’t be easy and it’s expected to get more difficult as efforts intensify,” Nicolaou said in a statement.

Nicolaou backed Police Chief Zacharias Chrysostomou’s assertion that corruption continues to be a problem after firmly taking root in the force decades ago when previous governments hired and promoted unqualified people.

(MENELAOS HADJICOSTIS)

RELATED

It was a close brush with death but a 40-year-old British tourist bitten by a deadly viper while at a yoga retreat on Cyprus is recovering after getting swift hospitalization to counteract the venom.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

Indians Vote in the First Phase of the World’s Largest Election as Modi Seeks a Third Term

NEW DELHI (AP) — Millions of Indians began voting Friday in a six-week election that's a referendum on Narendra Modi, the populist prime minister who has championed an assertive brand of Hindu nationalist politics and is seeking a rare third term as the country's leader.

WASHINGTON (AP) — After its midnight deadline, the Senate voted early Saturday to reauthorize a key U.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Israel demonstrated its military dominance over adversary Iran in its apparent precision strikes that hit near military and nuclear targets deep in the heart of the country, meeting little significant challenge from Iran's defenses and providing the world with new insights into both militaries' capabilities.

CONCORD, Calif. (AP) — A year before I-Ting Quinn's son was old enough for kindergarten, she and her husband had the option to enroll him in “transitional kindergarten,” a program offered for free by California elementary schools for some 4-year-olds.

ATHENS — The flame that will burn at the Olympics is spending the night at the ancient Acropolis in Athens, a week before its handover to Paris 2024 organizers.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.