A local man accused of killing 39-year-old Briton Charlie Birch in a Coral Bay hit and run earlier this summer has pleaded not guilty to premeditated murder charges.
The 35-year-old suspect, who appeared before the Criminal Court on Wednesday, has been in police custody since June in connection with Birch’s murder.
On June 24, the victim, a father of two from Wales along with another British friend stepped in when they saw the suspect physically abusing a woman, who turned out to be his girlfriend, in a bar in the Coral Bay area in Peyia, Paphos district.
Charlie Birch and friend stepped in when they saw the suspect physically abusing his girlfriend in a bar in the Coral Bay area
After the scuffle, the suspect and his girlfriend, a Greek national who was also arrested but later released, got into the car and drove on the Peyia-Ayios Georgios road in Coral Bay.
At one moment, the suspect drove the vehicle into the two Britons who were on foot, knocking them down, killing Birch and seriously wounding his friend before speeding away and ditching the car in the local harbour.
The trial has been set to continue next year, on 29 January 2019 at 9am, with the suspect’s lawyer not objecting to his client remaining in prison.
The defence lawyer also told the court that a number of witness testimonies that exist on record would not be refuted, thus allowing the case to go forward with minimal delays.
Last month, during a preliminary hearing of the criminal trial, the court noted that several witness testimonies, blood test results and camera footage had yet to be made available to the defence and prosecution attorneys.