Independent probe blames Cyprus leader for blast

Reuters News
Posted: Oct 03, 2011 6:04 AM

NICOSIA (Reuters) - An independent state-appointed investigator on Monday blamed Cypriot President Demetris Christofias for negligence leading to the blast of decaying munitions in Cyprus in July that triggered a government crisis and fanned speculation the island could be the fourth recipient of an EU bailout.

"The President of the Republic in this case failed to take elementary measures for the security of Cyprus's citizens. In this case I am not referring just to institutional responsibility. In this case I apportion serious, and very heavy personal responsibility," investigator Polys Polyviou told a news conference.

Polyviou's findings are non-binding. A separate criminal inquiry is under way into the causes of the July 11 blast which killed 13 people and destroyed the island's largest power station.

(Reporting By Michele Kambas)