Satellite imagery exonerates motorist in court

Satellite imagery – that was used during a legal proceeding – has exonerated a motorist from speeding and dangerous driving charges at a Nicosia court.

According to state prosecutors, the motorist had been clocked driving at 95km/h in a 50km area along Archbishop Makarios III Avenue in the early hours of June 2, 2013.

When he was waved down to stop, police claim that he instead continued on his way, switching lanes and entering the lane for oncoming traffic which were waiting at traffic lights for the light to change to green. Undeterred, he continued to pass them and drove through the traffic lights – which were red at the time – before finally making his escape.

A police officer had testified that he first noticed the car at 300m and clocked his speed at a distance of 271m. Following standard procedure, the speed of the vehicle was recorded by radar in a straight line from the position of the officer in relation to the position of the car.

The defence attorney, Yiannis Nearchou, produced satellite images of archbishop Makarios III Avenue and showed that the policeman’s statement were impossible as a straight line from his position at 271m, either at the side of the road or up to 2,5m into the road, from the position of the car would have placed it in the opposite lane.

At 300m, the car would have been on the pavement on the opposite side of the road.

Judge Pavlos Kyriakides went on to find the defendant not guilty saying that he could not safely accept that the policeman’s testimony as being reliable.

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