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Viroja vya Cyprus - maiti ya Rais wa zamani yaibwa!

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by SMU, Dec 11, 2009.

  1. SMU

    SMU JF-Expert Member

    Dec 11, 2009
    Joined: Feb 14, 2008
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    Grave-robbers steal former Cyprus president's corpse

    [​IMG] Photograph: Petros Karadjias/AP

    Grave-robbers have stolen the body of the former Cyprus president Tassos Papadopoulos on the first anniversary of his death.

    Mounds of freshly dug up earth lay at the site of the robbery in the Deftera village cemetery in a south-western suburb of the Cypriot capital, Nicosia. Police investigators cordoned off the area and were searching the site.

    "The grave of the former president has been violated and the body robbed," said police spokesman Michalis Katsounotos.

    Investigators believe the body was taken either late on Thursday night or early on Friday morning. The motive was unclear.

    "What happened is macabre and [should be] utterly condemned," said Andros Kyprianou, the head of Cyprus' ruling Akel party. "I am honestly still trying to comprehend what kind of warped minds could even think of doing such a thing, let alone actually carry it out. This is a perverse act that will sicken society in Cyprus.

    "It is my hope that those responsible will be caught and made an example of. Society needs to remain calm."

    Papadopoulos, a hardline president who ushered the ethnically divided island into the EU after rallying Greek Cypriots to reject a UN-brokered peace deal, died a year ago on Saturday from lung cancer at age 74. He served as president from 2003 until March 2008, when he lost the presidential election to the current president, Demetris Christofias.

    A British-trained lawyer, Papadopoulos was a veteran of Cyprus politics whose career spanned most of the island's turbulent history since gaining independence from British colonial rule in 1960.

    He was a leader of the Greek Cypriot guerrilla group Eoka, which waged an anti-colonial campaign, and served as the youngest cabinet minister in the island's first post-independence government, at the age of 26.

    Papadopoulos was, for a time, the chief Greek Cypriot negotiator in settlement talks with the breakaway Turkish Cypriots after 1974, when Turkey invaded the island in response to a coup by supporters of uniting the island with Greece.

    The former president is probably best remembered for an emotional televised appeal to Greek Cypriots to reject a reunification plan brokered by then UN secretary general Kofi Annan, which Papadopoulos vilified as entrenching the island's division rather than ending it. Three-quarters of Cypriots obliged him in an April 2004 referendum. Two-thirds of Turkish Cypriots accepted the plan.