22 April 2024

The Arrest And Remand In Police Custody Of A Suspect

Y. Vasiliou & Co LLC


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The fundamental rights and freedoms of a person are established and guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus ("the Constitution"), and more specifically, by Part 2.
Cyprus Criminal Law
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The fundamental rights and freedoms of a person are established and guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus ("the Constitution"), and more specifically, by Part 2.

One of the fundamental human rights is the right to liberty and security, which is guaranteed by Article 11 of the Constitution ("Article 11"). Although the right to liberty is one of the most important human rights, it is not an absolute right. It is subject to limitations, which are expressly defined by Article 11.

The Arrest of a Suspect

Among the cases where the restriction of the liberty of a person is permitted, is the arrest or detention of a person for the purposes of bringing him before the competent authority on the reasonable suspicion that he has committed an offense and his arrest or detention is considered reasonably necessary to prevent his escape after the committing, or to prevent the commission of another offence.

The Appearance of the Arrested before the Court

Article 11 impose the express obligation to the Police Authorities to bring the arrested and detained person, for the above purposes, before a Court as soon as possible, and in any case, no later than 24 hours after his arrest. It is necessary to present the arrested person before the Court, so that the Court will promptly proceed to inquire into the grounds of the arrest. After the Court inquire the grounds of the arrest, it shall, either release the person arrested on such terms as it may deem fit, or remand him in custody. The Court must draw conclusions as soon as possible and, in any event, not later than three days from the appearance of the arrested before it (Article 11.6 of the Constitution).

The Remand of a Suspect in Custody

  • The Duration of the Police Custody

The duration of a police custody cannot exceed eight days, provided that the investigation into the commission of the offence has not been completed.

  • Requirements for the remand of a suspect

The remand of a person arrested is regulated by Article 24 of Criminal Procedure Law («Cap.155»), which states the requirements that must be met for a Judge to order a person in custody.

First, an application for the remand of a suspect must be made by a police officer, not below the rank of an inspector. A basic condition for such an application to be approved is that the investigations of the commission of the criminal offence for which the suspect was arrested have not been completed yet.

Further conditions and/or factors which are considered by the Court in determining whether the detention of a suspect is reasonable and necessary under the circumstances are clarified by the relevant case law. More specifically, for the Court to be satisfied and issue a remand order, the following conditions must be met:

a. There is evidence that a criminal offence has been committed.

The detention of a suspect must concern a specific criminal offence, for which there is evidence that it has been committed.

b. There is evidence and testimony which create reasonable suspicion that the suspect is connected with the commission of the criminal offence.

The reasonable suspicion cannot extend to the commission of the crime but must be reasonable and genuine. A good faith suspicion alone cannot justify detention.

c. The time elapsed from the arrest to the submission of the application for remand have been utilised by the Police.

The Police must demonstrate that an objectively serious, under the circumstances, effort has been made to complete the instigations and that there is no unjustified delay.

d. The detention of the suspect is necessary to facilitate police investigations.

The main purpose of detention is the necessity of detaining the suspect. The Investigating Authorities must present to the Court testimony, based on which it can be shown that the detention of the suspect is necessary to facilitate the police investigations. The detention is considered as necessary for the following purposes:

  • To avoid the risk of influencing witnesses – The possibility of influencing witnesses is in itself sufficient for a remand order to be issued. However, it should be assessed whether fears of influencing witnesses are reasonably justified.
  • To avoid destruction of evidence.
  • To prevent the escape/disappearance of the suspect.

The Renewal of Remand Order

  • The duration of remand

The Court may renew the detention of the suspect as many times as necessary, as long as the investigations are still pending. However, in case of renewal of the detention of the suspect, the period of the detention cannot exceed 8 days. The total duration of the detention, starting from the date of arrest, shall not exceed 3 months (Article 11.6 of the Constitution and Article 24 of Cap.155).

At the end of the 3 months of detention, without having sufficient evidence for the drafting of an Indictment against the arrested person, the arrested person must be released.

  • Requirements for the renewal of a Remand Order

The Court, for the approval of an application for the renewal of a suspect's remand, must be satisfied for the below:

a. The time elapsed since the previous remand order was properly used by the Investigating Authorities for the purposes for which it was ordered, and

b. The renewal of detention is reasonably necessary.

The application for the renewal of detention must concern only and exclusively the offence or offences for which the suspect was arrested.


All the Court Decisions regarding the above, as clearly provided by Article 11.6 of the Constitution, are subject to appeal.

Every person, who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention, is entitled to take proceedings, by which the lawfulness of his detention shall be decided speedily by a Court, and in case the detention is deemed unlawful, his release shall be ordered (Article 11.7 of the Constitution).

Every person who has been arrested or detained in contravention of the provisions of Article 11 has an enforceable right to compensation (Article 11.8 of the Constitution).

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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