LARNACA Former Foreign Minister Marcos Kyprianou expressed bitterness and resentment over the decision to prosecute him regarding the Mari tragedy.
His written statement was presented to Larnaca court where he is accused causing death by failing to take precautions and negligent homicide.
Facing the same charges are former defence minister Costas Papacostas, former national guard deputy chief Savvas Argyrou, former fire service chief Andreas Nicolaou; deputy fire chief Charalambos Charalambous; and former disaster response squad commander Andreas Loizides.
A total of 13 people died when containers full of confiscated ammunition exploded on July 8, 2011.
His statement came to 19 pages.
He suggested that he was prosecuted because the state was under pressure to bring someone to book for the incident.
He blamed the National Guard for failing to give adequate warning of the danger from the cargo.
He also questioned whether it was his ministry’s responsibility to move the 98 containers unloaded from the vessel Monhegorsk as it made its way to Syria in defiance of UN sanctions.
He criticized the Ministry of Finance and the Customs Department for their handling of the issue.
All his actions, he said, were taken to protect Cyprus diplomatically and politically.
The former minister said that at a meeting in February 2009 the president had been assured that the load was not a major risk since it was receiving appropriate care and protection.
He also said that a military official had told the meeting that four containers which could contain dangerous cargo were to be tored elesewhere.