One of two men suspected of killing a British tourist in South Cyprus last year, has been re-arrested for illegally entering the TRNC. However, the victim’s family has been told that there will be no murder trial.
George Low, 22, from Dartford, Kent, was stabbed to death in Ayia Napa in southern Cyprus in August 2016.
Mehmet Akpinar fled to the TRNC with a second suspect where both were arrested by the Turkish military for illegally crossing the border into the north and later freed. He has now been re-arrested and imprisoned by the authorities in the north.
Low’s parents, Martyn and Helen Low, said they hoped the Turkish authorities would “do the right thing” and hand Akpinar over for trial.
But an email from the Foreign Office to the family stated: “Unfortunately there is no prospect of Akpinar being handed to the Republic of Cyprus from the north. Akpinar will be returned to Turkey at the end of his sentence.
“This is because there is no extradition treaty between North Cyprus and any state other than Turkey. We are in the same situation now as we were before this arrest.”
Low’s father Martyn said: “I can’t believe it. We’re completely devastated by this. We have been trying to be positive but this is so frustrating.”
Also seriously injured in the attack, was George Low’s friend Ben Barker who suffered stab wounds to his back.
According to Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis, Akpinar was deported to Turkey after being freed by the Turkish military last year. He subsequently made two attempts to return to the TRNC. On the second occasion this year, he was arrested and remains in custody.
Conservative MP for Dartford Gareth Johnson who has been in regular contact with the UK Foreign Office said “The Greek Cypriot authorities should hand over any evidence they have against Mr Akpinar to the Turkish Cypriot authorities.
“Here we are, some 14 months after [George Low’s] murder and still there’s been no progress, and that needs to change.”
BBC News, Havadis