Article published on the 2009-12-11 Latest update 2009-12-11 13:27 TU
Cypriot police announced on Friday that the corpse of former President Tassos Papadopoulos was stolen from his coffin. The leader of Papadopoulos’s Democratic Party, Marios Garoyan, described it as a “heinous and terrible”.
Piles of mud and earth revealed a fresh hole dug at the site of Papadopoulos’s grave in the Deftera village cemetery, near Nicosia.
And while police were not clear on any possible motive, it coincides with the first anniversary of his death on Saturday.
It is thought the grave robbers struck late on Thursday night or early Friday morning. Investigators have cordoned off the area while they carry out searches.
Papadopoulos’s family have yet to comment but Cypriot politicians condemned the incident.
Andros Kyprianou, head of the ruling Progressive Party of Working People, said he was, “still trying to comprehend what kind of warped minds could even think of doing such a thing”.
“Such barbarous acts only do damage to Cyprus,” said Kypros Chrysostomides, a former Justice Minister who served under Papadopoulos.
Papadopoulos served as President of the Republic of Cyprus, the Greek-majority part of the divided island, from 2003 to March 2008, and died from lung cancer at age 74.