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19 June, 2019
 
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Mystery ahead of Tzionis’ cross-examination

Prosecutor throws spanner in the works as Strovolos double murder trial within trial continues

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The Strovolos double murder trial was shrouded in mystery on Wednesday, when the prosecutor said she wanted more time to examine a prison incident before cross examining the defendant on Friday. 

State prosecutor Polina Efthyvoulou is expected to present to court “an incident in Central Prisons, starring the defendant Loizos Tzionis,” according to Kathimerini Cyprus.

Just minutes prior to concluding a hearing in the criminal trial on Wednesday, in which Tzionis said under oath that he was pressured into signing his deposition, the prosecutor alluded to an incident in prison saying she needed time to examine some information she had obtained.

A fellow prisoner allegedly attacked Tzionis, with the assault being reportedly not unrelated to the double murder case

The presiding judge asked Efthyvoulou if she could elaborate on the nature of the incident but she declined, saying she wanted to examine the information herself before she could say anything.

The judge also had a request from Tzionis’ defence attorney, Andreas Anastasiou, who said it had become difficult to consult with his client in prison. He asked for better access including an area designated for consultations, with the judge saying the request did not concern matters of the court.

But reports later began to speculate over the prosecutor’s claims of a prison incident, which she is expected to present on Friday during cross examination.

It was not made clear how the alleged incident might relate to the ongoing trial within a trial, in which the court tries to ascertain whether Tzionis had his rights violated by investigators.

Some reports said the defendant was attacked on December 3 by another fellow prisoner who injured Tzionis in the face. The assault was reportedly not unrelated to the double murder according to allegations made public in local reports.

But other media outlets also pointed out the prosecution seemed unpreared to cross examine Tzionis on Wednesday, with Efthyvoulou citing no knowledge of a written statement which the defendant read out loud during his testimony.

The Strovolos double murder took place on April 18, where 60-year-old Yiorgos Hadjigeorgiou and his 59-year-old wife Dina Sergiou were savagely stabbed to death, while the only other person reportedly in the home was their teenage son. Tzionis, who was arrested a week later, says he was framed.

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