Inquiry blames Cyprus president for deadly blast

October 3, 2011 - 8:30 AM
Cyprus Turkey Drilling

Cypriot president Dimitris Christofias speaks to the media after the annual Cyprus Independence day military parade in the divided capital of Nicosia, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011. Christofias says exploratory drilling for offshore oil and gas deposits will continue despite Turkey's strong opposition.The island of Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded in response to a coup aimed at uniting the island with Greece. Cyprus gained independence from Britain in 1960. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — The head of an official inquiry says Cyprus' president is mainly to blame for events that led to the explosion of seized Iranian munitions that killed 13 people and caused a political and economic crisis.

Polys Polyviou says Dimitris Christofias was primarily responsible for the "inadequacy, negligence and carelessness" that led to the July 11 blast at a naval base. The explosion also wrecked the island's main power station.

Polyviou presented the public inquiry's nonbinding findings on Monday.

Christofias had testified at the inquiry hearings that he was never told by subordinates just how dangerous the munitions were and denied any personal responsibility.

But Polyviou said Christofias had "very serious personal responsibilities."