A 35 year old Cypriot arrested on Tuesday in connection with the abduction of two 11 year old boys from their primary school in Larnaca is due in court on Wednesday for a custody hearing.
The two boys are both well having undergone tests at Larnaca Hospital where they were taken after their eight hour ordeal. They remained in hospital overnight for precautionary reasons and are due to undergo further tests today and to be interviewed by police, the Cyprus News Agency said.
The court hearing will be held behind closed doors.
Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou told CyBC radio on Wednesday morning that police are investigating all possible motives. But he said that one possible motive was that of ransom.
The minister said emphasis will be given to offering support to the children and their families and appealed to the media and public to avoid speculation.
The two boys were found in the suspect’s apartment about a kilometre from the school after a tip off from a member of the public who had seen a man fitting the description of the suspect and his car released by police after the kidnap. The witness had also seen the suspect changing the number plates of his car the previous days.
According to Phileleftheros the two policemen who went to investigate the tip were surprised when the suspect opened the door to the apartment, asked for a few minutes to restrain his dogs and let them in.
A police officer noticed a school item in the apartment and immediately arrested the man, who did not resist, the paper added.
The two boys were found in the bedroom of the apartment, sleeping.
According to the newspaper, the suspect is a web designer from Nicosia who lives in Larnaca.
The Cyprus News Agency said police carried out extensive investigations at the suspect’s apartment and of his two cars. He was taken to Larnaca police station for questioning around 12.30 after midnight — several hours after he was first detained.
Police have taken evidence from the apartment, including computers, which will be sent for scientific investigations while the two cars were towed to police headquarters in Nicosia.
The boys were found after a huge search operation launched when their disappearance was discovered.
Media reports said they and three other boys were in the school playground before the start of the class when they were approached by a heavily built man in a beret who introduced himself as their new teacher and asked for help to carry some books from his car.
The two volunteered to help and followed the man. Their disappearance was reported after they failed to turn up in class, after school started.
The abduction has revived the debate of safety at schools, particularly as regards access to schools and prompted renewed calls for the installation of closed circuit cameras.