Cyprus’ President calls for answers over death of Cypriot Australian Thanasis Nicolaou

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Cyprus’ President Nikos Christodoulides has called for answers into the death of Cypriot Australian Thanasis Nicolaou 19 years ago.

A judge from the Limassol district court ruled on Friday that Nicolaou’s death in 2005 resulted from strangulation, vindicating his family’s long-held belief of foul play.

Nicolaou was found dead under Alassa bridge in September 2005. He was 26. Forensic pathologist Panicos Stavrianos ruled it was a suicide, however the family has long-argued it was a murder coverup.

At the time of his death, Nicolaou was serving in the armed forces of Cyprus. Nicolaou died a day after he reported horrific bullying at his army unit, and spoke out of suspicions of drug dealing at his barracks.

After his remains were exhumed in 2020 over suspicions of foul play, further autopsies showed he had been beaten and strangled.

thanasis nicolaou
Thanasis Nicolaou was found dead under Alassa bridge in September 2005.

On Friday, Judge Doria Varoshiotou attributed the death to a criminal act in a comprehensive decision. Karagianni’s findings, based on an examination of the hyoid bone, supported strangulation as the cause of death.

Upon hearing the decision, relatives of the Nicolaou family who were present in the courtroom burst into applause, and Thanasis’ mother, Andriana Nicolaou, exclaimed, “There is justice!’”.

In response to this landmark hearing, Cyprus’ President said on Sunday that the executive branch will move to examine why for 19 years the tragic case of Nicolaou was not properly handled.

According to Cyprus Mail, President Christodoulides did not rule out appointing an independent investigator to examine the case.

“I am in personal contact with [Nicolaou’s] mother, at a human level, if you wish. But as an executive branch we will do whatever it takes,” Christodoulides said.

“Of course, the result is very important but we need to see why for all these years, everything that had to happen did not happen.”

Source: Cyprus Mail.

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