Greek Cypriots released from the north

A MAN FROM Vrysoulles was fined 3 million Turkish lira (just over £1) by a court in the north yesterday, but warned that any repeat offence would earn him a fine of five billion lira.

Chrysostomos Philippou, 47, was arrested on Friday with another man from the same village after a number of shotgun cartridges were found in their vehicle when they crossed to the north. The second man was released earlier, but Philippou was remanded until yesterday after being charged with possession of explosives.

In a second incident, a couple arrested in their boat on Friday by Turkish troops off Paralimni received a caution from a court in occupied Nicosia and were allowed to return to the government-controlled areas through the Ledra Palace checkpoint yesterday afternoon. They also had to sign a five-billion Turkish lira bond in the event of a repeat offence.

Alexis Constantinou, 36, son of Kikis Constantinou, the owner of the Nissi Beach Hotel in Ayia Napa, and a British female companion were arrested after their small boat allegedly crossed the Maritime Security Line (MSL) at around 5pm. The MSL is the seaward extension of the island’s buffer zone, which is clearly marked and is constantly patrolled by Turkish navy vessels. The boat and its occupants were escorted to the port of occupied Famagusta.

Discussions will take place today between the Turkish Cypriot authorities and the UN for the return of the boat.