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13 November, 2019
 
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Coral Bay defendant admits lesser charges

Charges reduced to involuntary manslaughter with no mal-intent in the death of Charlie Birch

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The Coral Bay trial resumed Tuesday following a number of procedural delays, with the prosecution introducing three lesser charges against the defendant while the court formally suspended prosecution on two previous counts, manslaughter and premeditated murder.

Greek national Demetris Iltzidis, a 35-year-old originally from Georgia, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the death of 39-year-old Briton Robert James Birch, also known as Charlie, who was run down in June 2018 in Peyia following an altercation.

The defendant is now being accused of wrongful death caused by reckless driving with negligence but no mal-intent

Iltzidis, who was initially facing premeditated murder charges, had his charges reduced to manslaughter late last year. But following consultations with the Legal Department last week, prosecutors proceeded with a further reduction in the charges.

Lead state prosecutor Andreas Hadjikyrou told the criminal court that the defendant was being accused of wrongful death, with negligence but no mal-intent, caused by reckless driving as well as causing grievous bodily harm and leaving the scene of an accident. Some of the charges also involved the injury of another Briton, Charlie’s friend who was also run down but survived the attack.

Defence attorney Savvas Matsas raised no objection to the new charges, as his client proceeded to plead guilty to all three new charges. Iltzidis will remain incarcerated until his next hearing on July 18, when the court will hear further facts of the case.

It was not clear whether there had been a plea bargain during the course of the criminal trial. The Cyprus News Agency had reported last week that the case was being held up by the Legal department in order to prepare new guidelines for the prosecution.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  Paphos  |  Peyia  |  Birch  |  hit and run  |  Iltzidis

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