Kent

George Low stabbing: Cyprus murder suspect 'set free'

George Low Image copyright The Bell
Image caption George Low used to work in Ayia Napa but was visiting at the time he was killed

The family of a Briton stabbed to death in Cyprus have spoken of their "shock and devastation" that the man suspected of killing him has been freed.

Estate agent George Low, 22, from Dartford, was killed near a nightclub in Ayia Napa in Cyprus in August.

An arrest warrant was issued for Sali Ahmet, 42, who fled to the Turkish-controlled north after the attack.

Officials in the south of the country said no-one had been handed back from northern Cyprus for many years.

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Mr Ahmet fled to the north with a second suspect, Mehmet Akpinar, 22, where they were arrested for an unrelated offence.

But both were then allowed to leave northern Cyprus without being charged - Mr Ahmet two weeks ago and Mr Akpinar in January.

Image copyright Cyprus Police
Image caption Greek Cypriot police issued arrest warrants for Mehmet Akpinar (left) and Sali Ahmet

In a statement, Mr Low's parents Martyn and Helen Low said they felt "totally let down by the authorities".

"We fail to understand why Turkey would allow a Bulgarian citizen [Sali Ahmet] suspected of murder to be set free in their own country instead of handing him over to the Bulgarian authorities to start the deportation process back to southern Cyprus to stand trial for the despicable and senseless act of violence against our son George and Ben, a lifelong friend.

"Now 11 months on both men are free to enjoy their lives. We will not let this rest."

Image caption Ben Barker was repeatedly stabbed at the same time as his friend

'Too late'

Ben Barker, 22, who survived the attack, said he was "upset, disgusted and angry" that the men had been released.

"We've had quite a lot of lack of information, and it's always been in the back of my mind that it might go this way.

"It's looking like we're not going to get any justice for George."

Gareth Johnson the Conservative MP for Dartford, said he was also in regular contact with the Foreign Office "but frankly it's perhaps now too late".

He added he had met the ambassador from northern Cyprus, who had claimed the authorities were not receiving "the evidence from southern Cyprus that enables them to take action".

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