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10 July, 2020
 
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Details emerge in woman’s death by kin

Brother remanded in custody as his version of events comes under a cloud of suspicion

Newsroom

Police investigators are trying to piece together what led up to the fatal shooting of a young woman in Larnaca, while questions are being raised over the version of events offered by her brother, who says he shot his sister by accident.

A 23-year-old local man on Wednesday was remanded in custody for eight days following his arrest in connection with the fatal shooting of his sister, 21-year-old Maria Harpa.

Harpa was shot in the head with a single bullet while sitting in her own living room around 5:50pm in Larnaca's Klavdia community, while the mother of the siblings was reportedly in an adjacent room.

The victim was reportedly two months pregnant and had accepted a marriage proposal from a man in a nearby village on the day of the shooting. Her death took place on the last day before she was about to move in with her fiancé according to local media.

The suspect initially told officers his G3 gun had malfunctioned earlier at the army firing range but records showed there was no scheduled shooting practice that day

Her brother, who was arrested on manslaughter charges on Tuesday night, told police he shot his sister by mistake while he was attempting to clean his military rifle.

According to reports, the suspect initially told officers that his G3 gun had malfunctioned while using it at an army firing range hours earlier, adding that he was advised by his military armourer to clean the rifle when he got back home.

But according to what was heard in court, the suspect's army unit did not have a scheduled exercise on Tuesday, with records showing his last shooting practice took place in May 2019.

According to a second narrative offered by the suspect, who was read his rights at one point during the interrogation, he had gone to the firing range on his own. Reports said the suspect told investigators he had sent a message to Service 8988 in order to obtain permission to leave the house in accordance with lockdown measures.

But the message had been deleted according to the suspect, prompting investigators to make attempts to obtain cellular data through the phone company.

Additional reports said there were frequent arguments in the family recently while three hunting rifles belonging to the victim’s father had been removed from the home earlier this year.

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