Four men in custody denied any involvement in the Ayia Napa highway murder during their remand hearing on Thursday, where things got tense following an argument between the defence and prosecution.
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The suspects, four Greek Cypriots aged 27, 35, 36, and 44 who were arrested Wednesday in connection with the murder of Gary Boris Christodoulou, appeared in Famagusta District Court Thursday under heavy protection to attend their remand hearing.
Prosecutors said an ongoing vendetta was behind the murder of Christodoulou, saying the victim had been given a warning
Christodoulou, aged 33, was killed execution-style two weeks ago after his car came to a forced stop on the Ayia Napa highway. Prosecutors, who drew links between the case and another underworld hit in Ayia Napa back in 2016, said the victim was tricked by someone who had gained his trust.
The victim had been a trial witness in the Ayia Napa slaying in 2016, where businessman Phanos Kalopsidiotis was killed along with three others, including an off-duty police officer. Prosecutors said an ongoing vendetta was behind the murder of Christodoulou, presenting evidence to the court that investigators obtained mobile phone evidence linking the suspects to the victim.
According to witnesses, the prosecutor said, Christodoulou had been warned not to work for Panayiotis Pendafkas, who had been convicted in the murder of Kalopsidiotis.
“Pentafkas was a sworn enemy of Kalopsidiotis,” the prosecutor said.
The court heard that Christodoulou had been told that he had a choice to be given a pass or “taken out of the game.”
At one point, one of the defence attorneys called the prosecutor “incompetent” which prompted the latter’s reaction asking the judge to call for order.
“You bring folks here in the courtroom just for the show,” the prosecutor was quoted as saying according to media reports.
The defence presented alibis on all four suspects. Two of them said they had ordered in and the food delivery person could testify on their behalf. Cameras in the area would show that their vehicles had not been moved, the attorneys said, who objected to the remand of their clients.
The judge's decision for remanding the suspects remained pending.