A Cypriot newspaper says it has forwarded information to police regarding an alleged plot against Israelis after it was contacted by a man who claimed he had seen the Azeri suspect hide a handgun in a hotel in the north.
Daily Politis on Thursday reported that police have taken possession of a Glock 9mm pistol, along with bullets and a mobile phone, that were allegedly hidden in a hotel in the Turkish Cypriot north.
Cyprus police continue to investigate in total secrecy an alleged thwarted assassination plot against Israeli businessmen on the island, with some reports pointing to a financial dispute over unpaid debts while Israel cites intelligence saying the prime suspect, a Russian national of Azeri ethnic background, had been acting on terrorism-related orders from Iran.
The main suspect, who was arrested on September 27 in Nicosia, has objected to his detention and further denied terrorism allegations while a second suspect, a Pakistani delivery guy in Paphos said to have been linked to the Azeri through phone records, has also been detained in the case.
Local media said a handgun with a silencer and bullets had been found in a parked vehicle rented by the main suspect, while it was understood that he was approaching the car at the moment he was apprehended.
A Greek Cypriot acquaintance had referred the Azeri man to an address in Engomi, where the suspect ended up renting an apartment and telling the owner it was for someone else
But Politis wrote on Thursday that new evidence “possibly could be very serious evidence in solving the case.”
A Greek Cypriot man had contacted the newspaper, according to Politis, to ask for the organization’s help in handing the items to law enforcement authorities.
“The items… have been delivered with Politis’ mediation to police by a Greek Cypriot man, who happened to have been staying at the same hotel in the north with the Azeri,” the daily said.
According to Politis, the Greek Cypriot man had seen the Azeri suspect hide some items between air conditioning systems in the hotel’s skylight “but he didn’t make much of it.”
“However, when he came to know that he was arrested in the south for planning a criminal act, he searched and found a gun, a mobile phone, and two bullets inside a nylon bag,” Politis wrote.
The daily went on to report that the Greek Cypriot man, who has not been identified, initially “did not know how to handle the situation and thought about throwing them away.”
“But after reflecting on it he decided to contact Politis,” the paper said, adding that they had received for confirmation a photo with the gun placed on newspapers Politis and Avrupa showing the date of 19 October 2021.
The Politis story also said the Azeri suspect’s version of events was being discredited following the discovery of this new evidence.
But it was still unclear what story the 38-year-old suspect had told police, including any information regarding a hotel in the north.
According to unconfirmed reports, a Greek Cypriot acquaintance had referred the Azeri man to an address in Engomi, where the suspect ended up renting an apartment but telling the owner it was for someone else.
Some local media said the Azeri man, who came to Cyprus between two and three weeks prior to his arrest, would drive the rental car and park in Engomi, where he would then get on an electric scooter to go to Ledras where he crossed into the north through a checkpoint.
Police said they were investigating all possible leads in the case but declined to make comments, citing national security concerns.