Cyprus’s ex-defense minister, found guilty of Mari blast, in intensive care

The former defense minister of Cyprus who was found guilty of manslaughter and negligence on Tuesday over the deaths of 13 people in a massive munitions blast in 2011 in Mari, is in intensive care, local media reported on Wednesday.

Costas Papacostas, who served in the island’s former communist government, was rushed from Nicosia’s central prison to the capital’s general hospital after complaining of feeling unwell. His personal physician said that he suffers from cardiovascular and kidney problems. Papacostas also suffered a stroke two years ago.

Papacostas was on Tuesday found by a Nicosia court to have had direct responsibility over the safe-keeping of a cargo of confiscated Iranian munitions, which exploded in the early hours of July 11, 2011, killing 13 people and taking out the island’s main power station.

Three senior officials in the island’s fire service were also convicted of negligence.

The court is expected to pass down sentencing on July 24.

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