The second suspect in last month’s fatal stabbing in old Nicosia has been arrested in the north two days after he fled the south through the buffer zone.
According to Turkish Cypriot media, 27-year-old Mohammad Alshalal was apprehended in north Nicosia on March 3, during what was described as “routine checks” in the walled city.
It was not clear whether the arrest took place at a residence or he was apprehended out in public, while according to details heard in court, Turkish Cypriot police investigators believe Alshalal crossed into the north two days prior to his arrest.
Alshalal was apprehended in north Nicosia on March 3, following what was described as 'routine checks' in the walled city
A week earlier a young man from Pakistan, 24-year-old Ahmed Bin Talib, was killed on Rigenis street, in a stabbing incident that was caught on video.
Greek Cypriot police quickly identified the alleged perpetrator, a 22-year-old Palestinian man who was remanded in custody, who then named a second suspect as Mohammad Alshalal from Syria. The Palestinian man was initially thought to have been the man who stabbed Talib.
Alshalal flew to Cyprus in March 2019 when he landed at Ercan airport in the north. He then crossed illegally into the Republic of Cyprus in the south, where he filed for asylum and his case was pending with the Migration office.
Greek Cypriot police investigators said they were looking into allegations according to which Alshalal had placed a phone call after the murder, asking not to be implicated in the case.
According to speculation in the Greek Cypriot media, Alshalal was seeking a way out of Cyprus, while police in the Republic of Cyprus believe illegal drugs were involved in the incident.