A defendant who visited Cyprus last year and ended up in jail for seven months after stabbing another man, walked free this week after prosecutors failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that he had murderous intent.
According to local media, a criminal court in Paphos acquitted a 31-year-old foreign national of attempted murder charges, after prosecutors failed to prove he had a motive in stabbing a 34-year-old male back in May 2020.
The defendant, a Russian national who visited Cyprus last year but was unable to leave due to pandemic travel restrictions, was arrested on attempted murder charges after he stabbed a man from Ukraine during a fight in his apartment.
The defence argued it was clear-cut self defence, with judges dismissing the prosecutor’s basic argument that the defendant attacked the victim with murderous intent over an unpaid loan of €50
Prosecutors said the stabbing victim, who was hospitalized in the Intensive Care Unit, had told investigators at the hospital that he went to the defendant’s apartment to collect €50, an amount the Russian man reportedly had borrowed from his accuser.
But the judges also heard from the defence attorneys who argued that the Ukrainian man went with two other males to the apartment with bad intentions. During the struggle, the lawyers said, he grabbed a metal extension from a vacuum cleaner and proceeded to beat the defendant, who grabbed a knife from the table and stabbed his attacker three times.
The judges also heard that the assailant kept hitting the defendant after he was stabbed, with judges accepting the defence position that their client had acted in self defence.
According to the Cyprus News Agency, the judges noted the Ukrainian man’s testimony was filled with contradictions and further rejected there had been premeditation on the part of the defendant.
The Russian man, who was facing a possibly long sentence, had served seven months in pre-trial detention. His lawyers argued this was a clear-cut self defence case.
The defendant was acquitted, with the judges essentially dismissing the prosecutor’s basic argument that their client attacked the victim with murderous intent over an unpaid loan of €50.