A Pakistani male, who is wanted in the north for killing a Turkish Cypriot artist, remains locked up in the south on illegal entry violations, while previous reports of a possible murder investigation by CID Limassol have been retracted.
Muhammad Salman, the 23-year-old male suspect, was apprehended in Limassol last month after his photograph was released by Turkish Cypriot media that raised the possibility he might have fled south.
It turned out that the information about Salman’s possible whereabouts in the south had also been shared through the bicommunal committee on crime through the United Nations, after a friend of the suspect told authorities that Salman had wanted to go to Limassol.
Salman, who is currently incarcerated in the south, is wanted for the brutal murder of 53-year-old sculptor and ceramicist Hasan Isik Ozgocmen. The artist was beaten and strangled to death in late September in a forested area in Trikomo/Iskele. Turkish Cypriot investigators said camera footage showed the suspect was with Ozgocmen on the day of the murder.
Police told Knews that Salman attended a court hearing last Friday but the proceeding only involved immigration violations
Previous reports that murder charges had been relayed through the bicommunal crime committee could not be confirmed by Knews on Wednesday. Turkish Cypriot authorities have reportedly requested through the UN that Salman be handed over to face murder charges in the north.
Republic of Cyprus officers arrested Salman on October 18 on charges of illegal entry and illegal stay. But reports that police were also investigating murder charges against him -after he reportedly confessed to the murder at the time of his arrest- could not be confirmed.
Police told Knews that Salman attended a court hearing last Friday, November 2, but sources said the proceedings only focused on immigration violations. If found guilty, he could potentially be deported to Pakistan.
A police source told Knews that no details of possible murder charges had been relayed to Republic of Cyprus officials through the UN, while clarifying that Salman is facing possible deportation on immigration violation charges.
A second individual in Limassol, a 20-year-old male from Pakistan, was also detained for aiding and abetting with possible charges of acting as an accessory to a crime.
A judge has ordered Salman to remain in prison until his next hearing on November 26, a month following his October 26 arraignment on two charges of illegal entry and illegal stay.