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17 June, 2024
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Brother of slain sister jailed until trial

Prosecutors manage to keep manslaughter suspect behind bars, case details far from clear


A Larnaca district judge ordered the brother of slain Maria Harpa jailed until arraignment next month, while pre-trial information in and out of court has been difficult to obtain in the death by kin case.

The 23-year-old male suspect, who admitted killing his 21-year-old sister, was ordered during a very brief follow-up hearing on Monday to remain behind bars until his criminal trial. The decision came after the judge had postponed the decision last Friday, when the suspect’s remand had expired.

No specific reason was given publicly for the suspect’s pre-trial detention, while police said the case was being handled according to the seriousness of the offence. It was not clear whether the defence attorney has objected to the pre-trial detention.

Last week, state prosecutors said they were charging the suspect with involuntary manslaughter by reckless endangerment, after reports said investigators told the attorney general there was no sufficient evidence to prosecute a murder case. 

Pre-trial information has been difficult to obtain due to lockdown measures in courts, while clarification from law enforcement over some issues was also hard to come by

CNA reported on Monday that the suspect would face three charges pertaining to manslaughter, theft, and malicious act, while his arraignment date has been set for June 11.

According to local media, the suspect admitted to investigators that he shot and killed his sister on May 5, in their family home in Klavdia, but he maintained it was an accident due to a malfunction of his army-issued G3 military rifle as he was cleaning it.

Maria was shot in the head with a single bullet while sitting in her own living room, while the mother of the two siblings was reportedly in an adjacent room.

Information regarding the case has been difficult to verify independently, partially due to measures taken in courts earlier during lockdown measures. Clarification from law enforcement over some issues was also hard to come by with police citing policies over potential privacy issues.

But previous media reports painted a troubling picture with members of the family allegedly having had heated arguments prior to the shooting incident, including reports that police had gone to the house two months earlier to remove two hunting rifles that were registered to the suspect's father.

Maria was reportedly two months pregnant when she died on the last day before she was about to move in with her fiancé, according to local media. Media reports suggested there was friction in the family in the months leading up to the shooting.

Cyprus  |  Larnaca  |  police  |  death  |  kin  |  manslaughter  |  murder  |  Klavdia  |  Maria Harpa  |  village  |  family

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