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18 October, 2018
 
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Strovolos double murder suspects to enter plea June 13

Female suspect’s lawyer raises troubling questions about police conduct during investigations

Newsroom

The arraignment of the four suspects in the Strovolos double murder was set for June 13 during Friday’s hearing, where one of the defence lawyers raised questions over the conduct of police investigators with his client.

The case involves four suspects facing at least 13 charges in connection with the murder of a married couple in Strovolos, 60-year-old Yiorgos Hadjigeorgiou and his 59-year-old wife Dina Sergiou, who were found savagely stabbed to death in the bedroom of their own home on April 18.

Four suspects in custody include 33-year-old main suspect Loizos Tzionis, his 21-year-old girlfriend Sara Sians, Tzionis’ 23-year-old half brother Lefteris Solomou, and another 22-year-old male, Marios Hadjixenofondos.

Police say they have DNA evidence and depositions linking the suspects to the crime, which is widely believed to have been a robbery gone horribly wrong, while no direct evidence has been found linking any of the suspects directly to the actual murders.

Tension in the courtroom

Sians’ attorney asked the judge that his client be seated away from the main suspect, citing fears for her safety. Later, there was tension in the courtroom when he asked to review the evidence against his client, according to local media reports.

The judge called for a half hour recess for the lawyer to review the evidence while the attorney also asked to be given access to correspondence between police investigators and the attorney general’s office, citing reasons to believe that “certain things had taken place and would like to examine them.”

What did investigators tell the female suspect

“Let me remind the prosecution of what investigators had promised to my client,” the attorney told the court.

“We didn’t promise anything,” said the prosecutor.

According to daily Phileleftheros, Sians’ acquaintances say police asked the 21-year-old woman to cooperate and offered her immunity if she would testify as a prosecution witness.

Police are denying the allegations.

But the lawyer insists on reviewing internal memos and raising questions as to whether his client had even been at the scene of the crime. He submitted to court that he believed prosecutors were charging SIans with offences in order to keep her in custody.

What suspects have admitted so far

Tzionis has admitted involvement in the crimes and has shown police investigators how he had entered the residence on Zalongou Street the night of April 18.

His DNA has been found on items at the scene of the crime or in association with the crime scene, such as baseball bat, a sword, and a pair of shoes without laces inside the residence.

However, none of the items have been linked directly to the murders according to what has been said in court so far.

Sians is implicated in the case by Solomou, whom she is also implicating him in the case. Her DNA was found on the shoelaces of the pair of shoes belonging to her boyfriend, while a pair of earphones was found at the crime scene with her DNA, which was also found on the baseball bat left at the scene.

The female suspect told investigators during her third deposition, according to statements heard in court, that the plan for the burglary had been put together at her presence and she had heard Tzionis say they “might need to kill someone”.

She also pointed out to police a knife cover and a mirror, which she says Tzionis and Solomou used to sniff cocaine the night of the murders.

Solomou admits that he was present when he heard Tzionis say they would go to a house to commit carry out a burglary. His role would be for him and Sians to collect the loot or pick up Tzionis and Hadjixenofondos in case something went wrong.

Tzionis also named his brother as the person who helped him hide some clothes and a knife.

Hadjixenofondos is also implicated in the case by DNA evidence on the baseball bat and based on statements made by the main suspect. Sians also says she had given the 22-year-old a Rasta scarf, which he used to enter the residence on Zalongou Street.

All other suspects implicate Hadjixenofondos in the case while he had written in a journal on April 28 everything he knew about the double murder case.

The hearing was scheduled to continue at 1:15pm, where the judge would decide whether Sians would remain in custody. 

The court ruled that all four suspects would remain in custody. 

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Cyprus  |  Strovolos  |  crime  |  murder

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