The four defendants in the Strovolos double murder were back in a Nicosia courtroom on Friday, after a long holiday recess and the conclusion of a trial within a trial on police pressure allegations.
The case involves four suspects facing seven 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 savagely stabbed to death on April 18.
The four defendants 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. All four have denied the charges.
A number of questions were raised during the hearings last month, with defence attorneys accusing the prosecution of withholding evidence
Tzionis has maintained that he was being framed for the double murder. Earlier allegations of police pressure, raised by his attorney during a trial within a trial, did not appear to hold in court after the defendant was peppered with questions during cross examination. It later emerged that Tzionis was starting to feel pressure while in custody but his attorney withdrew claims against police interrogators.
A number of questions were raised during the hearings last month, with defence attorneys saying not all the evidence was being shared by the prosecutor. Some of the attorneys accused the prosecution of withholding evidence, with the chief prosecutor saying they kept the defence informed at all times. The court found that some technical difficulties had to be resolved so that both teams can have access to material evidence well in advance.
The criminal trial ended with police photographers presenting evidence in court including crime scene photos and pictures from the medical exam of the 15-year-old boy who was the son of the murdered couple.
Two post mortems reportedly have been conducted in the case, supervised by two different forensic experts, state pathologist Eleni Antoniou and Greek professor Chara Speliopoulou. Both experts, along with a forensic expert hired by the family, as well as the boy’s aunt and a social welfare officer were present during the medical exam of the boy.
Friday's trial started at 10:30am.