The lawyer of Marios Hadjixenofondos, the last of four defendants in the Strovolos double murder trial, has asked the criminal court to show “maximum leniency” saying his client was also a victim in the case.
Hadjixenofondos, who was convicted on manslaughter charges last month, was the only one of four defendants who did not admit to any crimes in a brutal killing and attempted burglary in Strovolos that shocked the public back in April 2018.
On Tuesday morning, defence attorney Andis Georgiou addressed a panel of criminal judges in a Nicosia courtroom, saying his client was “asking for a second chance and hoping he could return back to his family soon and be a productive and useful member of society.”
Hadjixenofondos was found guilty on two counts of manslaughter in the murders of 60-year-old Yiorgos Hadjigeorgiou and his 59-year-old wife Dina Sergiou, whose bodies were found in their home brutally stabbed to death multiple times on 18 April 2018.
The attorney, who said Hadjixenofondos’ manslaughter conviction was associated with burglary and not premeditated murder, asked the judges to show leniency as they did with Solomou and Shams
The defendant had previously been cleared of premeditated murder charges, while Loizos Tzionis and his half-brother Lefteris Solomou have also been convicted and sentenced in the case. Sara Shams, Tzionis’ former girlfriend and co-defendant who later turned prosecution witness, was also handed down a four year sentence after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary.
Georgiou argued that Hadjixenofondos did not know of any plans to commit murder, adding that he wasn’t in a position to stop Tzionis.
“There is no doubt who was the mastermind,” Georgiou said, adding that the heinous crime was the result of a “sick man, Tzionis, who rightfully today is behind bars.”
The attorney, who said Hadjixenofondos’ conviction of manslaughter was associated with burglary and not premeditated murder, asked the judges that they show leniency in the case of his client as they did with Solomou and Shams.
“There is no evidence of consent to the murders,” Georgiou said, adding that his client was an immature person who recklessly got involved with minor crimes and was convicted for actions he had taken unintentionally.
“He should not have to pay for the crimes of others,” he added.
Last month, Presiding Judge Harris Poyiadjis found the defendant was unreliable, saying Hadjixenofondos contradicted himself while attempting to manufacture his own version of events in order to vindicate himself.
Sentencing day has been scheduled for Thursday, February 20.