Nicosia businessman Alexis “Alexoui” Mavromichalis pleaded not guilty on Thursday to four charges in an attempted murder case, with his lawyer lashing out at the police and accusing them of dirty tricks.
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Mavromichalis and co-defendant Miroslav “Rudolf” Balazovjech, who were arraigned on Thursday, pleaded not guilty to charges in connection with an attempted murder of Panicos “Glykas” Panayiotou back in 2017.
Defence attorney Andros Pelekanos, who represented Alexoui, raised objection over the prosecutor’s request for the defendants to remain in remanded custody, citing contradictions in the testimony used against his client.
Glykas was shot multiple times outside his residence as he was getting out of his car in Nicosia’s Ayioi Omoloyites borough. He pointed investigators to a different suspect following the incident, but police say he recently named Mavromichalis as the mastermind.
'Is there perhaps a reason why they want him in remanded custody? I shall come back to this and also about Facebook posts'
Last month, Pelekanos raised strong objections over his client’s detention and further told the judge that the allegations were not based on evidence but on a vendetta.
On Thursday, Pelekanos told the court that in order for his client to be held pending trial, there had to be grounds for detention based on a court finding.
“You have a witness who pointed to a different perpetrator. And if that other person was arrested, would he not have been serving a life sentence?” Pelekanos asked.
“This is the testimony. This is the police. This does not honour us as a country,” the attorney added.
Pelekanos, who raised his voice according to local reports, remained adamant about the lack of evidence, accusing police prosecutors of playing dirty tricks.
The lawyer pointed out that his client had friendly relations with the witness as they were “eating and drinking” together.
Prosecutors had said the witness was afraid to come forward previously because he was trying to patch things up with Alexoui.
But Pelekanos said police were tasked with presenting facts and not whichever version they wanted, adding that this practice has been going on for many years in courtrooms across the Republic.
“They are making a mockery out of this procedure your honour,” Pelekanos said.
The attorney argued that cops approached Glykas and gave him information that his life was in danger, allegedly from Alexoui, and that they couldn’t offer protection.
Pelekanos also said that police never even bothered to investigate Glykas’ allegations or search for a motive as to why Alexoui would want him dead.
He then called on the judge to weigh the evidence against the credibility of the prosecution witness, with the judge calling for a short recess.
The Nicosia businessman, who was jailed in early February pending trial, pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder, possession of a firearm, possession of explosives.
Balazovjech, who was previously held at Central Prisons and then remanded in custody pending trial, also pleaded not guilty to the same charges.
Pelekanos also gave hints at a feud between Alexoui and the police.
“So police told him that he was in danger and can’t offer protection and he went to file a statement. And why didn’t the cops go to arrest Alexis at that time?” Pelekanos said.
“Is there maybe something else going on? Maybe the situation with the police chief inspector? Is there perhaps a reason why they want him in remanded custody? I shall come back to this and also about Facebook posts,” the attorney added.
The bail ruling for Alexoui and Rudolf has been pushed back to Friday.