NEWS

Flag taken from grave of missing president

Police were scouring a cemetery in Nicosia yesterday after unidentified vandals removed a Greek flag from the grave of former Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos almost a month after his remains were stolen from his casket. Police were alerted to the disappearance of the flag, which had stood next to the Cypriot flag on the tomb, by two officers employed by the late leader’s family to tend the grave. The flag was later found outside the cemetery gates. Police did not say whether the perpetrators of yesterday’s act are believed to be the same as those who stole Papadopoulos’s remains on December 11, the day before the first anniversary of his death. It was originally thought the tomb raiders might be members of a racket seeking ransom payments from bereaved families but Papadopoulos’s relatives have received no demand. Another, unconfirmed, scenario is that the perpetrators are nationalist extremists.