A single person from the political staff of the government of Dimitris Christofias, Kostas Papakostas, paid for the biggest political crime in our modern history by imprisonment, in the end and with his life. What led to the tragedy of Marie, in 2011. A single man!
It was not and will never be possible to accept that for all that evil, for the death of thirteen of our innocent fellow citizens, for the destruction of millions, for the social upheaval, for the darkness into which we fell when that shocking explosion took place, they are responsible a minister, a proven loyal executor of his President’s decisions, and three fire brigade officials, who became involved in the case only at the time of the explosion and not before in guarding the deadly containers.
However, those who accepted this, those who then kept silent or covered up with political falsehoods, the responsibilities of the others around them, come today, 12 years later, to raise eyebrows and muddy the waters. It’s as if they want to convince themselves that the dominant issue of that tragedy may be today or any time in the future, that Kostas Papakostas was not allowed to court when he was in the hospital after his conviction.
Only for the family of Kostas Papakostas is, and has the right to consider it, a dominant issue. And he did well to take the case to court. He was vindicated when the District Court of Nicosia ruled that the Republic of Cyprus violated the human rights of the former Minister of Defense, in relation to the conditions of his detention, depriving him of the right to court, and sentenced it to pay compensation of €20,000.
But the politicians and the parties, especially the politicians of the government at the time, should shut up about this tragedy. Because whenever they open it, they remind us that for this huge crime, where the responsibilities of many and at many levels were widespread and proven, only Papakostas and three firefighters were convicted. This will always be a dark page in the history of this state, the justice system and the political life. Black page. Embarrassing.
Don’t remind us of her, then. And much more so that they don’t think we forgot what happened. The only right thing for them to do is, even now, to apologize to the family of Kostas Papakostas. Apologize, for keeping quiet and letting him pay for it himself, a minister who implemented the policy and instructions of the President of the Republic and with military discipline kept quiet so as not to burn them.
Both the Investigative Committee and the Criminal Court found the responsibilities of many others, much greater than the responsibilities of Kostas Papakostas. But, not everyone who was actually guilty of the crime was brought to justice. Not a military man, not even the colonel who was jumping on the containers to prove that there was no danger, and to whomever he spoke he told that he himself is in direct contact with President Christofias. Not a single politician from those who made the decisions and had full and absolute responsibility both state-wise and politically, as the criminal court describes in its decision.
And when the Minister of Defense was sentenced to five years in prison, in July 2013, for manslaughter and causing death by reckless, reckless or dangerous act and behavior, no one came forward to take responsibility. Not even political responsibility. He should say: I was giving instructions to Papakostas, I was telling him that the decisions are political and not to interfere. And we all know who he is, as did the criminal court, as did the Polybius committee.
They should apologize to his family, even today, and shut their mouths. They insult our intelligence and the memory of Papakostas by pretending to be the critics.