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16 June, 2024
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Coral Bay trial still bogged down

New hearing set for mid-May while number of witnesses to take the stand still unclear


The Coral Bay manslaughter trial has resumed with the focus still on evidence proceedings, while it remains unclear whether the mother of the victim will be called to testify.

(Click here for an update to the story)

The Paphos Criminal Court held a hearing on Tuesday where Greek national Demetris Iltzidis, aged 35, who is facing manslaughter and attempted murder charges in connection with a hit-and-run in Peyia, Paphos district back in June 2018.

The defendant is being accused of slamming his car into two Britons, killing 39-year-old Briton Charlie Birch instantly and wounding his 32-year-old friend following an altercation at a local pub in the Coral Bay area.

The defence attorney suggested witness testimonies could help speed things up if they are entered into evidence in the form of deposition testimony

Premeditated murder charges against Iltzidis were reduced to manslaughter in January 2019, while it was never clarified whether there had been any plea bargain between defence and prosecution other than some agreement on procedural matters.

According to Cyprus News Agency (CNA), a police officer submitted evidence from CID Paphos, including a video from the pub, an official map of the area, a number of photographs, and clothing. Other items included parts of the vehicle in question as well as lab test results.

State prosecutor Andreas Hadjykyrou also made reference to a number of photographs to be entered into the record but explained there were some delays in securing copies from the originals.

The exact number of witnesses to take the stand is not yet known, with defence attorney Savvas Matsas telling the court that he believed a number of witness testimonies could help speed things up if they are entered into evidence in the form of deposition testimony.

Hadjykyrou said he would further examine as to whether the victim’s mother would be called to take the stand, while both defence and prosecution have agreed at least on some testimonies being entered straight into the record.

The prosecutor also told the court that approximately ten witnesses, who could be seen in the recorded video, were not deemed important to the case.

Hit and run in summer 2018

On 24 June 2018, in the early morning hours, two British tourists were at a bar in Coral Bay when they saw Iltzidis verbally and physically abusing his 23-year-old girlfriend. Witnesses said the two friends stepped in to protect the woman and ended up getting into a fight with the defendant, who then left the premises.

Iltzidis and his girlfriend got in the car and drove along the Peyia-Ayios Georgios road, where around 2:30am police were notified about two men on foot in Coral Bay being injured in a hit-and-run.

Following the car incident, the vehicle sped away and was later found abandoned in the water at a local harbour in front of eye witnesses, who later told cops they saw the defendant and his girlfriend coming out the vehicle.

The next hearing has been scheduled for May 14.

Cyprus  |  Paphos  |  Peyia  |  Coral Bay  |  Birch  |  hit and run  |  manslaughter  |  pub  |  Iltzidis  |  police  |  court  |  attempted murder

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