An exchange of murder suspects took place on Friday between north and south on the divided island of Cyprus, with both sides handing over foreign nationals who attempted to run away from justice.
According to local media, foreign national Ali Hassan was handed over to Turkish Cypriot police through the United Nations in connection with the murder of north Nicosia businessman Gokhan Naim.
Hassan was one of four suspects in the case who fled south following the murder of the 52-year-old outside his residence in the north back in March 2019. Naim was shot six times in the late afternoon, with four bullets striking him before falling to the ground.
A number of other murder suspects in this and other cases have been exchanged between the two sides in the past.
South gets Rigenis murder suspect
According to Turkish Cypriot media, 27-year-old Syrian national Mohammad Alshalal, who was apprehended in north Nicosia in March 2020, was also handed over to Greek Cypriot police on Friday in what was described as an exchange through the bicommunal crime committee.
A foreign national was handed over to Turkish Cypriot police through the UN in connection with the murder of north Nicosia businessman Gokhan Naim
No official report has been issued in the south but sources told Knews that Alshalal was remanded in custody for seven days just hours after he was placed in custody in the Republic of Cyprus.
Alshalal, who was apprehended in the walled city of north Nicosia during a “routine” check, was wanted in the south in connection with the killing of a young man from Pakistan, 24-year-old Ahmed Bin Talib, whose death in February was captured on security camera video on Rigenis street, in old Nicosia.
Last month, a 22-year-old Palestinian man was found guilty of manslaughter in the case and was sentenced to 13 years in prison.
Police investigators in the south, who believe the altercation was drug-related, 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.