LARNACA - Marcos Kyprianou’s cross examination in the Mari explosion trial ended Tuesday, with his co-accused former defence minister Costas Papacostas taking the stand.
The criminal trial was launched after 98 containers of munitions seized from an Iranian ship exploded on the Evangelos Florakis naval base in Mari near Limassol on July 11 last year, killing seven sailors and six firemen, injuring 62 and completely destroying Cyprus’s main power station.
Accused of causing death by failing to take precautions and negligent homicide are Papacostas, former foreign minister Kyprianou, 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.
Papacostas told the court that direct responsibility for the explosion lay with the Commander of War Materials with indirect responsibility lying with the leadership of the National Guard.
The explosion was a “tragic accident caused as the result of half knowledge and ambition,” by a man who had misled everyone by saying that gunpowder burned rather than exploded.
His evidence threw up so many new points that the proceedings in Larnaca were interrupted so the the prosecution could consult.