The 35-year-old suspect in the Larnaca abduction case of two school boys will bypass preliminary hearings and go straight to criminal trial, a judge ruled on Thursday.
The suspect, Yiorgos “George” Nicolaou, is currently facing four charges including kidnapping, abduction with the intent of false imprisonment, public intoxication, and wrongful imprisonment.
Nicolaou, who was not represented by an attorney during the closed door session at Larnaca District Court, could possibly face additional charges as investigators have not ruled out adding or dropping some of the charges, according to media reports.
Kidnapping sentences carry jail time up to seven years in the Republic of Cyprus, while a conviction on drugging two children could land Nicolaou two consecutive life sentences
The suspect, who was arrested ten days ago for kidnapping two students at Kamares primary school in Larnaca, was seen in a video coaxing the 11-year-olds into following him to his apartment near their school.
Eight hours following a massive search in Larnaca and elsewhere, officers apprehended the suspect in his apartment where it turned out he was keeping the boys after having drugged them with a tranquilizer in their lemonade.
The suspect has not denied the abduction, telling authorities he did it for money, But police raised doubt over the ransom scenario, saying no demands had been made whatsoever.
Kidnapping sentences carry jail time up to seven years in the Republic of Cyprus, while a conviction on drugging two children could land Nicolaou two consecutive life sentences.
Nicolaou will remain behind bars at Central Prisons until his trial, tentatively set for November 5.