Former Greek Cypriot officials plead not guilty
NICOSIA - Agence France-PresseSix Greek Cypriot officials, including the former foreign minister and ex-defense minister, have pled not guilty to manslaughter charges in a trial over last year’s deadly naval base blast.
A stock of confiscated Iranian munitions exploded in July last year, killing 13 people and destroying Greek Cyprus’s largest power station. Originally eight people were due to stand trial, but charges against Col. George Georgiades were dropped, and former Cyprus army Chief Petros Tsalikides has been charged in Greece because he could not be extradited. Former Foreign Minister Marcos Kyprianou, ex-Defense Minister Costas Papacostas and four other defendants pled not guilty to a total 208 charges carrying a maximum sentence of life in prison. Kyprianou and Papacostas resigned in the wake of the July 11 blast that killed 13 people and injured 62, wrecked the island’s largest power station.