Court proceedings begin in Cyprus fatal blast

Court proceedings have begun in Cyprus into last year’s explosion of confiscated Iranian gunpowder that killed 13 people and triggered a political crisis.

Eight people face charges of manslaughter and negligence causing death, including ex-Foreign Affairs Minister Markos Kyprianou and ex-Defense Minister Costas Papacostas. Both men resigned in the wake of the July 11 blast that severely damaged the island’s largest power station and touched off weeks of street protests.

Both men appeared in a Larnaca courtroom on Monday alongside all the co-accused except former National Guard Chief Petros Tsalikides, a Greek national. The court approved a state prosecutor’s request for an arrest warrant against Tsalikides and postponed all proceedings until May 18. [AP]