President dismisses Police Chief over serial killings

President Nicos Anastasiades dismissed on Friday Police Chief Zacharias Chrysostomou over the force’s perceived failures to properly investigate the cases of missing women, who eventually turned out to be victims of a serial killer.

The dismissal, which is effective from May 7, was announced in a letter to the Chief published by the Presidency. Chrysostomou met with the President this morning.

In a later made public 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 noted that 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 resigned yesterday. Anastasiades accepted his resignation but asked him to remain in his post until he completes legislation for justice reform.

In his letter to the Police Chief, the President said that the apparent lapses in the investigation of missing persons reports that resulted in the failure to detect and possibly prevent the atrocious crimes that shocked Cypriot society led him to the unpleasant decision to terminate your services as chief of the Cyprus police force.

Anastasiades said the person in charge of an authority, even if they do not bear personal responsibility, is called on to assume the responsibility of restoring its prestige, which was hurt as a result of their subordinates’ actions.

A 35-year-old army captain has allegedly confessed that he has killed since 2016 seven women, including two young girls and dumped their bodies at various locations, including a toxic lake and a reservoir. Four bodies were recovered but the remains of the two young girls and one more adult woman are yet to be found.