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01-03-2017 10:32 | Read 522 times

DNA of 'missing' to be re-checked

Family who buried wrongly identified remains 'in shock'

DNA of 'missing' to be re-checked

By KEREM HASAN

Chief Reporter

A “MISSING” Greek Cypriot man whose remains were returned to his family and buried in 2009 was wrongly identified by forensic teams, Cyprus Today has learned.

The mistake only came to light after recent DNA tests carried out by an American laboratory on the remains of another body discovered in 2015 identified him as the buried man.

It means that scores of other cases will now have to be re-examined, causing more anguish for grieving families.

Shocked relatives of the dead man, whose name has not been revealed, had to arrange for his bones to be exhumed and returned to the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) for further investigation.

Arrangements are now being made for the correct remains to be handed over to the Greek Cypriot family, a CMP source told this paper.

He blamed the blunder on staff at the South’s Cyprus Institute for Neurology and Genetics, which the CMP stopped using in 2012 because it was “not up to international standards”.

“The family were very understanding as to what happened and they made arrangements for the remains of the person buried to be returned to us following our discovery that the body concerned was misidentified,” said the CMP official, who did not want to be named.

“We have now handed over the real father[’s remains] to the family in question and arrangements for the burial are under way.”

CMP Turkish Cypriot member Gülden Plümer Küçük told Cyprus Today: “All scientific phases . . . are properly supervised by international bodies and our trustworthiness and seriousness is thoroughly checked by experts and consultants, with this programme being repeated every year.”

Meanwhile, a Turkish Cypriot clinical psychologist, Zühre Akmanlar, claimed this week that she had been unfairly forced out of her job at the CMP after working there for 10 years.

She claimed “personal reasons” were behind the decision not to renew her contract, rejecting explanations that her job had to go due to “budget constraints”.

Ms Akmanlar has asked President Mustafa Akıncı to intervene, with the Cyprus Turkish Public Workers Trade Union (Ktams) backing her case.

A source for the CMP said it currently employed two Greek Cypriot psychologists and one Turkish Cypriot, adding that “appropriate adjustments were made according to demand and budgets”. Mrs Küçük refused comment on the matter.

Latest figures from the CMP show that 950 Greek Cypriots and 309 Turkish Cypriots who went missing in the 1960s and ‘70s have yet to be found.

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