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23 September, 2020
 
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Coral Bay murder trial starts Friday

Local suspect faces premeditated murder charges for running down Charlie Birch in June

Newsroom

The trial of a 35-year-old man accused of killing British tourist Charlie Birch in a hit and run began Friday, with the suspect facing premeditated murder charges.

Birch, aged 39 from Wales, and another 32-year-old Briton, were struck by a car driven by the suspect on Sunday early morning hours on June 24. The man’s girlfriend, a 23-year-old Greek national, was in the front passenger seat.

Before the incident, the two Britons had stepped in when they saw the suspect physically abusing his girlfriend in a bar in the Coral Bay area in Peyia, Paphos district.

The two Britons had stepped in when they saw the suspect physically abusing his girlfriend in Coral Bay bar in Peyia

After the scuffle, the suspect and his girlfriend got into the car and drove on the Peyia-Ayios Georgios road in Coral Bay.

At one moment, the suspect drove the vehicle into the two Britons who were on foot, knocking them down, killing Birch and seriously wounding his friend.

The incident took place around 3am and the car sped away immediately without stopping. The suspect later drove the vehicle into the water at Ayios Georgios harbour where local fishermen helped the woman get out.

“We killed them, I don’t want to go to jail,” the woman was heard saying repeatedly.

The woman, who is a Greek national, was initially arrested along with the suspect but she was later released, following pressure from human rights groups who criticised police for failing to identify her as a victim of domestic violence.

Police later said they had found no evidence against the woman.

The suspect will remain in custody until the next hearing, when he is expected to enter a plea on 19 September. The court also noted that several witness testimonies, blood test results and camera footage have yet to be made available to the defence and prosecution attorneys. 

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Cyprus  |  Peyia  |  Paphos  |  Charlie Birch  |  murder  |  premeditated  |  hit and run  |  hit-and-run  |  bar  |  car  |  accident  |  run down  |  harbor  |  fishermen

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