A criminal court in Nicosia passed a sentence of six years to Lefteris Solomou, the half-brother of the main defendant in the Strovolos double murder, on burglary charges only.
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Earlier this month, Solomou pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges and aggravated assault, admitting conspiracy to commit a felony during the home burglary of a slain couple last year in Strovolos, Nicosia.
It remained unclear whether the prosecution still had an interest in having Solomou testify against his brother
On Wednesday morning, the presiding judge on the panel, Haris Poyiadjis, said the crimes were serious but also took into account mitigating factors such as Solomon’s young age, his voluntary admission, his clean criminal record, and the fact that he was said to be under the influence of his brother, main defendant Loizos Tzionis.
Solomou burst into tears upon hearing his six year prison sentence for burglary. It remained unclear whether the prosecution still had an interest in having Solomou testify against his brother.
The judge said he would not pass sentence on the aggravated assault charges. Previously, the passing of sentence midtrial had prompted an objection from the other defence attorneys, who argued that Solomou’s fact finding portion of the sentencing hearing could adversely impact the fairness of the trial for their own clients.
Even though the court overruled the objection, siding with the prosecutor who said judges could differentiate facts from evidence, Payiadjis said he would not rule on the aggravated assault charge.
Tzionis, who remains the main defendant along with co-defendant Marios Hadjixeonofontos, has pleaded guilty to burglary while he pleaded not guilty to murder charges. Tzionis’ former girlfriend, Sara Shams who also pleaded guilty to burglary charges, is currently serving four years and has testified for the prosecution. Her lawyer was said to have raised an issue with the Supreme Court as to the length of his client’s sentence.
The prosecution suspended all other charges against Solomou, including premeditated murder. Tzionis, is facing premeditated charges in the double murder of 60-year-old Yiorgos Hadjigeorgiou and his 59-year-old wife Dina Sergiou in their home, the bodies of whom were savagely stabbed to death in their own house on 18 April 2018.