Three guards arrested in prison murder

1 min read

Three prison guards were arrested concerning the murder of 41-year-old Turkish Cypriot Tansu Cidan, who was brutally beaten to death in Nicosia Central Prisons on 27 October.

Reports suggest the arrests came after CCTV footage showed that the prison guards were not performing their duties properly during the incident.

The three guards were to appear before a Nicosia court on Friday to be remanded in police custody.

The arrests add to 11 inmates, including five of Kurdish origin, who were detained as suspects on premeditated murder charges.

One of the Kurdish inmates arrested was identified as the main suspect in the case.

According to evidence obtained by police, the prime suspect allegedly had an active role in Cidan’s murder and the violent incident a day before the killing.

A sharp object allegedly used to kill Cidan was found in possession of the prime suspect.

Prison officials say Cidan was beaten to death by inmates on 27 October, sometime after a 5 pm roll call.

One officer reportedly said he had seen the inmate a day earlier without any physical marks on his body.

However, other testimonies and security footage reveal that Cidan had been beaten some 36 hours before he was found dead.

According to police, 140 statements have been received, with authorities not in a position to establish the motive behind the murder.

Police are expected to obtain another 100 testimonies.

Reports in Turkish Cypriot media say the victim’s family and officials in the north are less than satisfied with the course of investigations, hinting at a possible coverup attempt by the authorities of the Republic.

The family of Tansu Cidan insists that their loved one was tortured for three days.

In comments to the Turkish Cypriot press, the victim’s wife said there were serious bodily injuries on the body of her dead husband.

Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar has cast doubt over the reliability of the Republic’s justice system.

He hoped “that the Greek Cypriot justice system will not be covering up another crime against a Turkish Cypriot”.

“I call on them not to cover up this murder, like other crimes committed against Turkish Cypriots, to identify and punish the criminals as soon as possible,” said Tatar soon after the murder.

Cidan was serving a long-term sentence for multiple crimes, including eight years for possessing a significant quantity of drugs.

He was arrested in April this year for drug possession with intent to supply.

The government has made no official comment about the incident on how such a crime could take place in the central prisons.