Thursday, March 25, 2010

Papadopoulos's body's theft: thieves frame enemies?

Two Greek Cypriots have been arrested as the masterminds of the theft of former Greek Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos's body. Allegedly, the thieves wanted to frame some enemies; but if that is true, they are utterly incompetent.

Alexis Mavromichalis and Yiannos Ioannou

In court, Assistant Chief of Operations at Police Headquarters and Superintendent B Yiannakis Charalambous stated that police suspected "Alexoui" Alexis Mavromichalis and Yiannos Ioannou of 13 crimes; they have denied all of them.

Those crimes included 'illegal entry into a burial plot' during and 'orchestrating the theft' of Papadopoulos's body, as well as conspiring to murder and 'attempting to murder' the Gregoriou brothers with a car bomb (paraphrased by Saoulli, 2010).

Andis Hadjicostis and Elena Skordelli

One of the Gregoriou brothers has been 'charged with the murder' of Dias media boss Andis Hadjicostis (Saoulli, 2010), which was allegedly masterminded by (Dias-owned) Sigma TV chat show presenter Elena Skordelli.

Skordelli and her brother Tasos Krasopoulis have been arrested on 'suspicion of ordering a hitman to murder her boss [Hadjicostis] after he decided to sack her' (Follain, 2010).

Antonis Prokopiou Kitas

Charalambous also stated that rapist and murderer Antonis Prokopiou Kitas had confessed to all 13 crimes (somewhat strangely (considering Kitas is in prison), apparently including the trespass on the grave), but had accused Mavromichalis of being the mastermind of the theft (Saoulli, 2010).

Despite Antonis Kitas's brother, Mamas Kitas, having accused him of being the mastermind, Charalambous apparently believed Antonis Kitas, as he told the court that Mavromichalis 'convinced' imprisoned Kitas to help him, because Kitas could win his release by telling the police the location of Papadopoulos's corpse (cited by Saoulli, 2010).


Charalambous also apparently believed (as he uncritically paraphrased) Kitas's claim that Mavromichalis's motive was 'framing other people with whom they had differences' (cited by Saoulli, 2010).

Yet if that was the motive, the crime was incredibly incompetent. The grave robbery was inexplicable; it did not imply any motive, or any "natural" suspects. And the perpetrators did not even plant any evidence to implicate any "framed" suspects.


Follain, J. 2010: "Cypriot TV star Elena Skordelli 'ordered hitman to kill boss'". The Times, 24th January. Available at:

Saoulli, A. 2010: "'Suspect told lifer that stealing Papadopoulos' remains would earn his freedom'". The Cyprus Mail, 24th March. Available at:

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