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President dismisses police chief over serial killings case

May 3, 2019 at 2:09pm

President Anastasiades has dismissed police chief Zacharias Chrysostomou over what he described as a failure to promptly investigate the disappearances of women and girls, after a suspected serial killer’s murders were discovered by accident.

Chrysostomou met with the President this morning. It is reported that he did not tender his resignation, thus the President decided to dismiss him.

In a later made pubic on Friday afternoon, the President said that he decided to dismiss Chrysostomou for “apparent negligence or failure to perform police duties in investigating the reported disappearances which could have prevented the serious crimes that shocked Cypriot society.”

Although the President acknowledged that Chrysostomou was not personally involved in the cases, he is “asked to shoulder the responsibility in order to restore the reputation of the force.”

The President said that he also took into consideration the resignation of Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou.

Nicolaou and Chrysostomou have faced a chorus of calls to resign over police’s botched handling of women reported as missing and later found murdered.

Nicolaou tendered his resignation on Thursday.

Four women have been found murdered in the past three weeks, their bodies dumped in three locations west of Nicosia. A 35-year-old career army officer is in custody in connection with the killings.

Investigations are under way into three other disappearances, including those of two girls aged 6 and 8.

The magnitude of the crime was unknown when tourists accidentally found a bound body in a mine shaft flooded by heavy rain on April 14.

Police were accused of failing to investigate the disappearances properly when they were first reported.

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