The defence attorney for Loizos Tzionis, the main suspect in the Strovolos double murder, says police violated his client’s rights and that his previous confession was obtained unlawfully.
The double murder criminal trial continued on Wednesday in a packed courtroom in Nicosia, with Tzionis’ lawyer raising a number of objections and the judges holding a trial within a trial to determine admissibility of evidence.
Tzionis was forced into signing a confession according to his lawyer, Andreas Anastasiou, who said his client signed a confession just to get out of a situation while experiencing drug discontinuation symptoms.
The lawyer also challenged the legality of a house search in Aglandjia, which produced a plastic bucket in which prosecutors say Tzionis washed his clothes with chlorine after the murders.
The defence lawyer said cops took incriminating statements from Tzionis without his client's consent
“These testimonies and evidence, not admissible,” said Anastasiou.
The lawyer also pointed out that police did not have a search warrant for what he described as illegally-obtained evidence, while he also spoke of incriminating statements that were taken without the consent of his client.
“He was under pressure, experiencing discontinuation symptoms from not having access to drugs, and he was in no position to understand what he was signing,” Anastasiou told the judges.
A total of 163 exhibits are expected to be presented in court, with 84 pieces of physical evidence deposited during another hearing last week.
The lawyer has accused police of violating constitutional law by failing to notify Tzionis that they were investigating premeditated murder and by not allowing him to have a choice of attorney.
The prosecutor asked the defence attorney to explain how Tzionis was forced into signing a confession, with the presiding judge also calling on the lawyer to expand.
Tzionis, the 33-year-old main suspect, is facing murder, burglary, and false imprisonment charges, along with three fellow suspects, his 21-year-old girlfriend Sara Siams, and two other co-defendants, his 23-year-old half brother Lefteris Solomou and 22-year-old Marios Hadjixenofondos.
All four have denied all seven charges, while prosecutors withdrew an eighth charge that had to do with conspiracy to commit murder.
On April 18, 60-year-old Yiorgos Hadjigeorgiou and his 59-year-old wife Dina Sergiou were savagely stabbed to death, while the only other person reportedly in the home was their teenage son. Police believe it was a burglary gone very wrong while a number of legal issues and questions over methodology have clouded the investigation.
The trial will continue on Friday.