Cyprus police locate stolen corpse of former president
Cypriot authorities on Tuesday said they have discovered the stolen corpse of former president Tassos Papadopoulos, which was reported missing from his grave three months ago, DPA reported.
Police received an anonymous call that directed officials to a cemetery outside of Nicosia close to where Papadopoulos was initially buried. DNA testing confirmed that it was the remains of the former president.
The theft of Papadopoulos' body from the village cemetery of Deftera, southwest of the capital Nicosia, had shocked and outraged the community of the eastern Mediterranean island.
There was no claim of responsibility and the motive behind the theft remains unclear. Police suspected a criminal gang to have been involved.
The theft was discovered a day before the first anniversary of his death and the culprits had carefully covered their tracks. Papadopoulos died of lung cancer in Nicosia on December 12, 2008, aged 74.
Papadopoulos served as president from 2003 until March 2008. He lost a bid for a second term in office in 2008 after being defeated by Demetris Christofias, a former coalition partner.
He oversaw the Republic of Cyprus' entry into the European Union in 2004 and led his community to reject a United Nations peace plan to reunite the divided island of Cyprus.
The island has been split since 1974 after Turkey invaded the northern third of the island in response to a short-lived coup initiated by Greece.