Seven Arabs charged after attacks in Cyprus on the residence of the Israeli ambassador and on an Israeli airliner last April, appeared in court in Nicosia on Tuesday (12 June).
GV Nicosia Court
SV Sign "District Court Nicosia"
SCU Police officer with briefs
SV Officer with Israeli witnesses
SV Police van with defendants arrive
SV Guards & prisoners out of van
SCU Guard with gun
SV Guards & prisoners into building, one on crutches
SCU Guard with rifle TILT UP face
Initials SGM/0120 SGM/0108
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Background: Seven Arabs charged after attacks in Cyprus on the residence of the Israeli ambassador and on an Israeli airliner last April, appeared in court in Nicosia on Tuesday (12 June).
A statement in Arabic, outlining the reasons for their actions was read before the preliminary enquiry got underway by Nawaf Mohamed Al-Makky. The 27-year-old Saudi Arabian teacher had his leg in a cast and bandages -- the result of bullet wounds received in the April airport attack.
Another Arab was shot dead in the attack, in which two Cypriot policemen were wounded.
Al-Makky said the action taken was not against Cyprus, but against Israel, a reprisal for having driven the Palestine people out of their land. "We took counter measures and will fight the Israelis wherever we find them."
The defendants claimed the trial was a political one and said that as soldiers of Palestine they should be tried by military tribunal.
The seven men (one other was believed to have escaped in the airport attack) face a long list of charges -- including possession of arms and explosives, wounding, wilful damage and stealing a car.
The preliminary inquiry precedes a trial expected to be held before the Nicosia assize court later in the year.