Former Cypriot defense minister guilty over blast

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LARNACA, Cyprus (AP) — A Cyprus criminal court has found a former defense minister guilty of manslaughter in the explosion of confiscated Iranian munitions in 2011 that killed 13 people and wrecked his country's main power station.

The three-judge bench ruled Tuesday that Costas Papacostas failed to take action to prevent the detonation of some 80 gunpowder-filled containers. The containers had been left exposed to the elements at a naval base for more than two years.

Three top fire service officials were found guilty on Tuesday of the lesser charge of causing death through a reckless and dangerous act. Two other defendants, former Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou and ex-deputy National Guard Chief Savvas Argyrou, were acquitted of all charges.

Manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Sentencing will occur on July 24.

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