NICOSIA – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will take all necessary steps in the direction of the Kyrgyzstan government as regards the release of Erhan Arikli, one of the suspects for the murder of a Greek Cypriot in 1996, Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou – Marcoullis said on Friday.
Marcoullis, who was replying to journalists’ questions, said she considers the release of Erhan Arikli “unacceptable”.
Tasos Isaac was killed on 11 August 1996 in the buffer zone, in the area of Dherynia, during an anti-occupation demonstration organised by the Cyprus Motorcycle Federation to protest against the continuing Turkish occupation of the northern part of Cyprus. He was kicked and beaten to death by a group of 15-20 people who surrounded him and threw him to the ground. Cyprus Police had issued then arrest warrants against eight people in connection with his murder and requested Interpol’s assistance for their arrest.
“We will take all necessary steps, proceed with all actions in the direction of the government of Kyrgyzstan”, she noted.
Marcoullis further said that the matter has been handled from the beginning by the Ministry of Justice and Public Order and the Police who did everything they should in order to secure the arrest of the suspect.
Earlier on Friday it was decided that the government will convey written evidence to strengthen the case against Erhan Arikl, to enable the Kyrgyzstan authorities to issue an extradition order to the Republic of Cyprus.
During a meeting at the Attorney-General’s office, chaired by AG Petros Clerides, a number of decisions were taken in relation to Arikli.
Erhan Arikli was on Interpol’s wanted list.
According to Cyprus Police, on September 18, Interpol Kyrgyzstan informed the Cypriot authorities that Arikli was arrested on the basis of the Red Alert issued after a request by Cyprus Police in connection to Isaac’s murder. However, the court in Kyrgyzstan freed the suspect, giving various reasons for this decision.
In statements after Friday’s meeting, Permanent Secretary of the Justice Ministry Stelios Himona said that all competent authorities took part in the meeting which examined the issue and decided the next steps.
“We will send stronger evidence for the fugitive’s extradition procedure and expect the Kyrgyzstan authorities to respond”, he said. (CNA)