Press Release by Independent Experts 5th March 2015

Release Date: 
May 11, 2015

Press Release by Independent Experts
5th March 2015

(Nicosia, 05.03.2015) Over the past four days we have evaluated the work of the CMP. We have visited the laboratory to examine the methodology that is employed and have also been given access to results obtained for one case from the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics.

Several of the cases handled by the CMP are extremely complex, given the number of individuals in gravesites and the poor preservation of the remains and sites. In our opinion the methodology implemented at CMP Anthropological Laboratory complies with international practice. This includes the re-association of skeletal elements from commingled remains.
However, we have examined a specific case and can conclude, that in this particular case, whilst the identification of the individual was correct, seven small bones from the feet were incorrectly associated with the individual. This occurred even though the scientists were following internationally accepted practices.
Based on the above findings it is clear that when analyzing complex cases there is an inherent risk of incorrectly associating some skeletal elements. We have therefore recommended that the CMP review its practice when processing complex cases and adopt a more conservative approach. We will send a full report of our findings to both the CMP and the family concerned by the end of next week.

Dr Jose Luis Prieto                                                       Dr William Goodwin
Forensic Anthropologist                                                   Forensic Geneticist
Forensic Institute                                                        University of Central Lancashire
Community of Madrid                                                       UK
Justice Department
Spain

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