A Paphos judge has canceled a bail hearing for a suspect in a fatal two-car hit and run case, with prosecutors rushing the trial of the second driver and police saying they are in the dark regarding the first vehicle that struck the victim.
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Local media on Tuesday said a district judge ordered a 44-year-old suspect in a two-car hit fatal hit and run to remain in pre-trial detention until his trial is set to begin in February, reversing a previous decision that the man would get a bail hearing later this week.
The defendant, who is being accused of being the second driver in a two-car fatal hit and run, says he was not driving on the day 60-year-old Androula Papachristoforou was fatally wounded as she was trying to cross the street.
Video footage shows Papachristoforou being struck by a car believed to be a Toyota. As she was down and a pedestrian tried to approach the woman, a second car ran over the victim, with a nearby camera capturing the driver exiting the vehicle to look underneath the powertrain, then getting back inside and driving away.
Local media reported that Papachristoforou was pronounced dead at the hospital two hours later.
Police deputy Michalis Ioannou said prosecutors got the go ahead from the state attorney’s office to proceed with filing a criminal case against the detained suspect, saying there was “sufficient evidence to prosecute the 44-year-old.”
It was not clear why the suspect was summoned ahead of his scheduled bail hearing.
Reports said a judge called for the detained suspect to appear in court on Tuesday Dec 28, two days before the scheduled bail hearing, with the defendant being told he would remain in pre-trial detention until his arraignment on February 3.
The suspect was initially arrested on charges of vehicular manslaughter, reckless driving, and leaving the scene of an accident.
Police were quick to locate the second car and make an arrest based on a piece of a bumper cover that broke off at the scene and, with reports saying the suspect was allegedly carrying out maintenance work on the vehicle outside his home.
Police also said they had help from an eye witness concerning the suspect linked to the second vehicle but it was not clear whether the car was registered to him.
According to Kathimerini Cyprus, the suspect says he had been test driving the car in the previous days but told the judge he was not the driver on Sunday evening when the incident took place.
Police also say they have very little to go on except a broken side mirror when it comes to tracking down the first car that struck Papachristoforou. According to local reports, only three Toyota car models match the mirror in question.