Cypriot Soldier Killed 7 Foreign Women and Girls. Justice Minister Resigns

Nicolaou said he was stepping down because it was a matter of 'conscience and principle' after investigative gaps in murders of seven foreign women

Two girls hold placards during a public vigil in memory of the victims of a suspected serial killer, outside the Presidential Palace in Nicosia, Cyprus, April 26, 2019.

Cyprus' justice minister has resigned over the country's serial killer case amid reports of lapses in investigating missing persons' reports.

Ionas Nicolaou said Thursday that he was stepping down because it was a matter of "conscience and principle." But he said Thursday that he bore no responsibility in the "apparent lapses" by police in its initial handling of missing persons' cases.

He said a key reason that led to his resignation, which the Cyprus president accepted, was that those investigative gaps concern not only the police but also society's "attitudes and perceptions that honor none of us."

The serial killer, army officer Nicos Metaxas, posing for a selfie image

A Cypriot army captain has admitted to killing seven foreign women and girls as police continue the search for the bodies of three of the victims.