The roommates of the Georgian national accused of murder in rural Nicosia have been arrested, while the suspect was described as “listening calmly” during his remand hearing in court on Tuesday.
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The victim’s daughter, reportedly a police officer, was heard telling the suspect 'don’t look at me… look straight' as he entered the courtroom
The victim’s daughter, reportedly a police officer, was heard telling the suspect “don’t look at me… look straight” as he entered the courtroom. It was not immediately clear whether the suspect knew the victim’s daughter, while previous reports established that he was acquainted with the victim.
The 40-year-old male suspect has denied any involvement in the brutal killing of 56-year-old Yianoula Hadjiyianni, who was stabbed to death inside her own car outside her Oikos village in Marathasa. The victim worked as a store manager at a grocery store in nearby Kalopanayiotis and was driving home for her lunch break when she was killed around 1:15pm. Moments earlier she was flagged down and picked up the suspect to give him a ride in the back seat, while another female passenger at the front got off moments before the murder.
Police believe robbery was a motive but other scenarios have not been ruled out as investigators try to understand what let to the horrific crime.
A Nicosia District Court judge heard prosecutors describe evidence against the suspect, including blood stains found on his clothing, on money bills found in his apartment, and in his bathroom. A pocket knife was also recovered from Hadjiyianni’s vehicle, prompting locals to report that the suspect had bought a knife several hours before the murder from a souvenir shop.
An eye witness has also surfaced in the media after the murder in broad daylight on Monday, describing in vivid detail seeing a man killing Hadjiyianni and running away. She said she saw the perpetrator in the back seat attacking the victim, who was in the driver’s seat, stabbing her several times with a knife before exiting the vehicle, locking it, and running away.
Roommates arrested on impersonation charges
In the meantime, following the murder and house search of the suspect, five males were detained on fraudulent document charges. Police are investigating them for possible criminal impersonation offences.
The arrests did not appear to be connected to the murder investigation, with reports saying the five males raised suspicions for having passports issued by Georgian authorities and ID cards issued by other countries.