Blood test links Cyprus soldiers

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The Independent Online
A forensic scientist told a Cypriot court yesterday that DNA tests on bloodstained clothing worn by three British soldiers showed the blood came from the same woman, but could not positively identify her.

Riflemen Alan Ford, 26, Justin Fowler, 27, and Jeff Pernell, 23, are charged with the manslaughter of a 23-year-old Danish tour guide, Louise Jensen. All plead not guilty.

Nira Gallili, a biologist employed with Israeli police, told the court in Larnaca that she carried out tests in October and November 1994. She was sent blood samples from each of the three defendants and blood and vaginal fluid from the victim. She also received specimens of blood from the victim's boyfriend, Michalis Vassiliades.

"There were no test results on the fourth specimen because it was in a bad state," Gallili told the court, referring to Jensen's blood. The sample was taken two days after the woman's death when she was found half-buried in a roadside grave.

Blood found on exhibits worn by the defendants all came from the same person, the scientist told the court. "It originated from a person with the same DNA profile and did not originate from the defendants or the boyfriend," she said.

The defendants - all stationed at the British base of Dhekelia - are charged with abducting Ms Jensen from the resort of Ayia Napa on 13 September and beating her to death with a spade. They were found at a police roadblock close to base wearing bloodstained clothes. Their lawyers alleged this blood was the result of police beatings. "We reserve our rights to raise objections that these samples were taken unconstitutionally and should therefore be excluded," counsel for Rifleman Fowler said.