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21 May, 2019
 
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Judge clears courtroom in Larnaca abductor trial

Reporters and onlookers ordered out of the courtroom, parents allowed in as closed trial goes forward

Newsroom

A Larnaca judge ordered reporters to leave the courtroom in the kidnapping trial of two school boys, citing the tender age of the victims.

(Click here for an update to the story)

The criminal trial in the Larnaca abduction case continued on Friday, with suspect Yiorgos “George” Nicolaou facing abduction and narcotics charges in the kidnapping of two school boys in September 2018.

According to court documents, the prosecutor was scheduled to present the case and make opening remarks on Friday. But the presiding judge opened the trial by saying the members of the criminal court had raised the question whether the sessions should take place behind closed doors, citing the tender age of the victims.

The prosecutor said no testimony regarding sex crimes would be put forth, but the judge said the parents could still watch the closed trial

Both the prosecutor and the defence attorney did not raise any objection, and the judge ordered reporters and members of the public to leave the courtroom.

The prosecutor said no testimony regarding crimes of a sexual nature would be put forth, however the judge said the parents could still be allowed to watch the closed trial.

Media outlets last November speculated that the defendant had reached a plea bargain, however the reports were not confirmed and Nicolaou initially did not admit to all the charges. But in December, the defendant changed his not guilty plea regarding narcotics charges, finally admitting that he administered a controlled substance to both of the boys. He had previously admitted kidnapping and false imprisonment charges as well.

Nicolaou was arrested on September 25, several hours after kidnapping two students at Kamares primary school in Larnaca. He was arraigned in early October behind closed doors, accused of coaxing two 11-year-old boys into following him to his apartment nearby the school where he spiked their lemonade, rendering them incoherent.

Eight hours following a massive search in Larnaca and elsewhere on the island, officers apprehended the 35-year-old suspect in his apartment where it turned out he was keeping the boys the whole time.

The boys were found in the bedroom and were reportedly disoriented.

Nicolaou is facing charges of kidnapping, using a controlled substance, and wrongful imprisonment.

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