Police are keeping a tight lip in the Strovolos double murder case, saying the investigation is going forward despite public and media criticism pointing to a series of errors.
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The case has shocked Cypriot society, where 60-year-old beloved English School teacher Yiorgos Hadjigeorgiou and his wife, 59-year-old central banker Dina Sergiou, were found savagely stabbed to death in the bedroom of their own house Thursday early morning in Strovolos, Nicosia.
The funeral of the couple is scheduled to take place Tuesday at 3:30pm in Nicosia, after authorities cleared the process following a second autopsy over the weekend.
Police neither confirmed nor denied a Kathimerini report citing sources saying the two murders did not take place in the same room
Reports say the second autopsy does not differ in significant ways with the first one, but according to information coming from the attorney general’s office, a “reliable” account was necessary.
Questions have also been raised over the credibility and reliability of state forensic pathologists. Knews understands that there might be new information from the second autopsy about the exact time of death, which could be crucial in cracking the case wide open.
The crime was reported to authorities after midnight during early Thursday morning, when the couple’s 14-year-old son reportedly went to a neighbour’s house and told them he had escaped from his residence where masked men attacked and killed his parents that night.
Police found no evidence of forced entry and no blood stains around the house were discovered except in the bedroom, where the bodies of the Greek Cypriot couple were found in a pool of blood.
CCTV footage from the area was being examined in order to verify parts of the account offered by the teen, who lived with his adoptive parents in a central location of Strovolos, the biggest municipality in Nicosia
Media reports have been focusing on specific issues, such as the murder weapon or the exact location of the murder, suggesting that police either did not know what had happened or they were keeping a tight lip about it.
Other sources said police investigators failed to interview or obtain statements from key persons, either relatives of the victims or classmates of their teenage son, who has yet to give a written deposition.
Police believe the boy could be an eye witness to the murder but have not received the green light from the attorney general’s office to get a written statement from him. Authorities have not named any witness or suspect in the case as of yet.
Attorney General Costas Clerides said important material evidence in the case is still missing, while adding that the case is “very difficult” and the investigation must proceed carefully and methodically.
But the statement, which came right after a meeting between the AG and crime investigators, set off media speculation that police had no leads in the case and may have made mistakes in the process.
One report suggested that garbage was picked up early morning before officers could search the bins for items or clues, but this has remained unconfirmed.
Police on the defence
Police spokesman Andreas Angelides dismissed criticism on Tuesday, going live on local TV to say that it is not unusual for police investigators to consult with the attorney general’s office in cases where coordination is needed or when a case may be sensitive.
Angelides neither confirmed nor denied whether police knew what had happened, but he said he was aware of many reports and information, clarifying it would not be prudent for police investigators to share information that is part of an ongoing investigation.
“These are not issues that need to be confirmed by police, neither officially nor off the record," and "when we have information that needs to be shared, it will be done,” Angelides said.
Online daily Kathimerini dropped a news bombshell after Monday midnight, suggesting that the two murders did not take place in the same room, citing two sources.
Angelides neither confirmed nor denied the report.