The Strovolos double murder trial was back in full swing with new chilling testimony and objections by the defence that were overruled.
During Tuesday’s hearing at the Nicosia courthouse, Constable Michael Angelou Arnaout testified for the prosecution that he was assigned on the case from day one, shortly after the murders of 60-year-old Yiorgos Hadjigeorgiou and his 59-year-old wife Dina Sergiou, who were savagely stabbed to death on April 18 in their own house.
Arnaout said he saw two bodies in the bedroom upstairs upon arriving at the scene, the man on the floor in a pool of blood and the woman on the bed. He then visited the neighbours to speak with the murdered couple’s teenage son, who appeared to be “frozen and detached from what had happened” hours earlier.
During the police investigator’s testimony, the court heard that the teen was able to describe to Arnaoutis a knife that had a hole in it.
The defence attorney said a document was not adequate, asking for the medical doctor herself to testify in a court of law
The defence attorney for main suspect Loizos Tzionis raised objection, telling the judges he had not seen the police log and asked the court to rule the evidence as inadmissible. But the judges sided with the prosecutor who said the defence lawyer could have asked for the evidence.
The log was finally given to the defence during trial over the objections of the defence. The court ordered a 15 minute recess following a dispute over evidence not being shared properly, an issue that had come up in precious hearings.
Tzionis’ lawyer also objected over a report that Arnaoutis had submitted as evidence. According to the witness, the report showed that the defendant gave his consent and saw a psychiatrist on April 26. But the defence attorney said a document was not adequate, asking for the court to call the medical doctor herself to testify.
“There has to be court testimony from the medical doctor herself, not only a document,” the lawyer said.
The judges sided with the prosecution and asked the witness to proceed. But the attorney argued that without the testimony from the psychiatrist, the entire content of the report would be hearsay evidence.
“I must insist that the doctor who made the initial statement be called to the witness stand, otherwise this is hearsay evidence,” the lawyer added.
The three judges consulted with each other and ruled that the document was admissible as evidence for the time being, asking the witness to proceed.
According to the witness, the brother of the defendant had told investigators that Tzionis was planning a burglary and was prepared to commit murder.
The witness went on to read statements made to investigators by co-defendant Lefteris Solomou, the main suspect’s brother, telling cops that Tzionis said the cops would never be able to find out who killed the couple because they were “dumb” and they would simply blame the kid.
Tzionis was also heard saying that the death of the couple was “God’s will” according to the witness.
Solomou was also rumoured to have been the person entrusted by Sara Shams, Tzionis’ ex girlfriend who was sentenced to four years on burglary charges in the case. Shams, who turned from co-defendant to prosecution witness after a plea bargain last month, reportedly told Solomou that she wanted to get away from Tzionis.
During Tuesday’s hearing, Tzionis’ attorney also raised objection over missing evidence, including post-mortem reports on the murdered couple that have yet to be handed over to the defence.
“We were never presented with the post-mortem results of the couple,” the defence attorney said.
The prosecution rejected the argument saying “we are doing everything possible to have a fair trial.”
“The defence rests and we ask to cross-examine another day,” Tzionis’ lawyer replied.
The next hearing has been scheduled for March 7.