The state is required to pay more than €100,000 in damages for an incident of physical abuse perpetrated by four police officers 18 years ago. The officers did not only beat the victim but they also took him to court, falsely accusing him of attacking them.
The accused was acquitted and the Court of Appeal awarded damages. The case came to light after the final judgement by the Court of Appeal, which increased the damages set to be received by the plaintiff.
On 24/7/2000 the plaintiff was attacked and beaten by four police officers in an open area of a fenced property in Paphos and in an adjacent restaurant. The Republic, through the Attorney General, took responsibility for the actions of the police.
The District Court initially awarded €50,000 in damages. The plaintiff appealed, and the Supreme Court, in a recent decision, ruled that the damages awarded were inadequate, especially since, as a result of the abuse, the complainant was hospitalised for two days and is still suffering from partial hearing loss. Increasing the general compensation from €50,000 to €80,000, the Court of Appeal indicated that ‘the district Court had ignored the medical testimony. There was a 35% to 80% reduction in hearing, which undoubtedly affects the plaintiff’ everyday life.
The Court of Appeal also awarded other damages, including lawyers’ fees (€11.276). Overall, damages of €96,000 were awarded with interest from 2005, when the lawsuit was filed and another €10,000 as exemplary damages, which the four defendant police officers and the Republic are required to pay. It must be noted that two of the four police officers are referred to, in the decision of the Court of Appeal, as ‘former’ police officers without specifying whether they retired or were laid off.