More than 20 people are facing charges over Dias attacks

More than 20 people face charges in relation to an attack outside the Dias building which houses Sigma TV and Simerini newspaper and for disturbances at the presidential palace in July, a police spokesman told the Cyprus News Agency on Tuesday.

In some of the ugliest scenes in recent memory, an angry group burned cars, smashed glass doors, and trashed the reception area of the Dias building in Strovolos. Some returned to the palace where they threw stones.

The riots followed a larger, peaceful protest outside the presidential palace by people opposing government measures to stop the spread of the virus.

Four people who participated in the July protest are due back in court on October 14, the spokesman said.

They were arrested for assaulting and causing real bodily harm to police officers, illegal congregation, resisting arrest and breaking coronavirus decrees.

They had been intercepted while driving a van outside the presidential palace after police acted on a tip off that they had been seen at the Dias building.

The four were arrested and initially remanded in custody. But no evidence emerged of their involvement in the incidents, and the four later successfully challenged the arrest warrants in the supreme court.

Police however filed charges relating to on-the-spot offense, and the hearing is set for October 14.

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He added that 16 cases have been filed in court in connection with the incidents at the presidential palace and at Dias.

One case pending before the criminal court concerns 10 individuals charged with arson and malicious damage.

Another four individuals face charges at the criminal court for allegedly entering the presidential palace grounds with flares.

Five others are charged with illegal entry, having allegedly entered the Dias building but left on seeing others wrecking furniture. Five speakers at the event also face charges, he added.

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