Miroslav Balazovjech, also known as Rudolf who was wanted in connection with attempted murder, has been handed over to authorities in the Republic of Cyprus on Sunday.
According to Kathimerini Cyprus, Rudolf was handed over by Turkish Cypriot police to UN officers in the buffer zone, who then handed the suspect over to Greek Cypriot law enforcement officials.
The suspect was serving seven months in a Turkish Cypriot prison after having been found guilty in March of illegal entry in the north. The 39-year-old Slovakian was arrested in Kyrenia back in January, after being implicated in the south in the attempted murder of 57-year-old Nicosia businessman Nikos Rodhotheou, the younger brother of Andreas Rodhotheou who was gunned down in a secluded safe house in Limassol last year.
A second suspect in the case, 40-year-old Greek Cypriot Josef “Sifis” Josef, was also arrested in the north back in early January, in Famagusta, where he was later sentenced to five years for illegal entry and weapons possession.
Last month, an exchange of murder suspects took place between north and south, with officials on both sides of divided Cyprus sending a clear message against impunity for crimes
Last month, an exchange of murder suspects took place between north and south, with officials on both sides of divided Cyprus sending a clear message against impunity for crimes.
Four male suspects wanted in the south for the murder of Ernest Leonides, were handed over to Republic of Cyprus officers. The men, at least three of whom are from Georgia, were arrested in the north on weapons possession charges. They were wanted in the south in connection with Leonides’ murder who was killed in Limassol in February 2018 in what some believe to have been a hit linked to the Russian mafia.
In exchange of the four men, another murder suspect was transferred from the south through the same UN channels to Turkish Cypriot authorities. Muhammad Salman, a 24-year-old male from Pakistan, was apprehended in Limassol in October 2018 on charges of illegal entry and illegal stay in the Republic of Cyprus. He was also wanted in the north in connection with the brutal murder of 53-year-old arts educator Hasan Isik Ozgocmen, who was beaten and strangled to death in late September of 2018 in a forested area in Trikomo/Iskele.
It was not immediately clear whether any other suspects were exchanged between the two sides.
Handovers and exchanges of suspects are facilitated by the bicommunal crime committee, known officially as the Technical Committee on Crime and Criminal Matters. The committee is the only entity on the island operating on the principles of bicommunal policing.