A drug case suspect and potential key witness in an ongoing attempted murder trial is in police custody, after serving time in the north before being handed over on Friday to authorities in the south.
Local media said 43-year-old Yiorgos Christodoulou Zavrandonas was arrested on Friday, after Turkish Cypriot police released him into the custody of Greek Cypriot officers through the UN bicommunal crime committee in the buffer zone in Nicosia.
Zavrandonas was initially arrested in the north back in March when Turkish Cypriot police in Famagusta searched his hotel room and found cocaine. A month earlier, police in the south had issued a warrant for his arrest in connection with one and a half kilos of cocaine in a Larnaca investigation.
Glykas told police that two people had told him Alexoui was behind the hit, with one retracting his story amid reports he had been forced to lie, and the other identified as Zavrandonas
Zavrandonas later also had another warrant against him in yet another drug case, when a convicted felon accused him of being the mastermind behind a drug deal.
But the suspect is also a potential key witness for prosecution against Nicosia businessman Alexis “Alexoui” Mavromichalis, who is accused of being involved in an attempted murder of Panicos “Glykas” Panayiotou back in 2017.
Glykas had reportedly told police during interrogation that two individuals had told him Alexoui was behind the hit, when he was shot outside his apartment building in downtown Nicosia. One possible witness, Phanos Hadjigeorgiou, has retracted his story amid reports he had been forced to lie in the case. The other remaining witness, according to Glykas, was Zavrandonas.
But Alexoui’s lawyers raised doubts over Glykas’ testimony, accusing him of lying several times on record, including when he pointed at a photograph of one suspect and identified him as the shooter and later changing his story to name Miroslav “Rudolf” Balazovjech, a suspected associate of Mavromichalis.
Mavromichalis’ defence lawyers, who raised questions over police tactics in the case against their client, argued Alexoui had emerged as a suspect out of revenge because he had given information in another case.
Two years ago Alexoui posted on social media a damning statement about police corruption that got him arrested, followed by a series of other arrests and additional confrontations. The Nicosia businessman has also filed a complaint against police including misconduct allegations.
A Nicosia district judge on Saturday ordered Zavrandonas remanded in custody for five days.