‘Happy ending’ as Turks release one of two Greek Cypriots

By Martin Hellicar

ONE OF two Greek Cypriots being held by the Turks was yesterday released to return to the government-controlled areas.

Spyros Koushioumis, 22, from Dhali in the Nicosia area, was set free at about 1.30pm after a military ‘court’ in occupied Nicosia dropped illegal entry charges against him.

Unficyp spokeswoman Sarah Russell said the ‘court’ decided Koushioumis had not intended to cross the divide on Sunday evening.

“The court accepted that he had made a mistake and released him without charge or penalty,” Russell said.

“It was a happy ending,” she added.

Koushioumis had been held by the Turks since about 7.30pm on Sunday, when he crossed to the north through the Vryssoules check-point, in the British base of Dhekelia.

Bases spokesman Jon Brown said Koushioumis, who works as a waiter in Ayia Napa, had ignored the warnings of British soldiers manning the check-point, who urged him not to cross.

The soldiers have no authority to stop people going north.

Canadian Greek Cypriot Rogiros Georgiou, who crossed to the north on July 21, was yesterday still being held on charges of trespassing into a military area.

The Canadian national was captured by Turkish soldiers after he lost his way on the old Nicosia to Larnaca road and ended up at occupied Pyroi.

Georgiou, who lives at Kalo Chorio in the Limassol area, is expected to appear before a military ‘court’ in the north on August 3.

The UN reported Georgiou to be in good health after his arrest last week.

A total of nine Greek Cypriots and Greeks have strayed into the occupied areas this year, while 17 Turks and Turkish Cypriots have crossed the divide in the other direction.