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12° Nicosia,
26 September, 2022
 
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Prosecutors plan for quick trial in double murder

More persons of interest questioned but no further arrests in deaths of two missing Russian women in Cyprus

Newsroom

Two more people have been questioned by police in connection with the deaths of two missing Russian women in Cyprus, after it emerged they had been at the cottage, while prosecutors plan to speed up the trial of the prime suspect who purportedly confessed to double murder.

Police investigators have questioned two new individuals in connection with the mid-November double murder of two missing Russian women, whose bodies were unearthed in early December outside a cottage in Kato Amiandos, Limassol district.

The two individuals described as persons of interest were questioned by police for the first time after it appeared they were at the cottage sometime between 13 and 17 December

According to 24news, the two individuals described as persons of interest were questioned by police for the first time after it appeared they were at the cottage sometime between 13 and 17 December.

No further information was provided about the two individuals except a clarification by 24news that they have not been arrested and previously were neither suspects in the case nor persons of interest.

The bodies of Russian nationals Mariia Gazibagandova and Alraeesi Khaiat, who were reported to Larnaca police as missing on November 19, were unearthed at the cottage in early December after detectives managed to get a confession from the prime suspect, described as a 32-year-old Cypriot national of Syrian background.

Reports said the prime suspect broke down after a late night interrogation by Larnaca detectives and allegedly admitted shooting the two women. Investigators then said he pointed them to their grave on the property days after Limassol police had abandoned the site following multiple unsuccessful searches.

According to 24news, police investigators have shared their case file with the state prosecutors, with a court filing later this week not ruled out at least against the 32-year-old suspect on murder charges.

But the case is far from closed after the motive given by the suspect appeared to have been farfetched, according to local media. The 32-year-old father of two, who is married to a Greek Cypriot woman, reportedly told Larnaca investigators that he had just returned from a hunting trip early in the morning with a rifle in his hands and overheard the women making fun of his sexual performance, adding his lost his temper and shot them.

Two others remain in police custody in connection with the case, including the main suspect’s 44-year-old brother who was questioned previously by Larnaca police during a secret abduction investigation before CID Limassol took over the murder case.

He initially denied involvement but later admitted he had driven up to the cottage out of concern that his brother might be in danger. He also said he saw two other males digging in the yard but added he had no idea there were bodies involved.

Another Syrian male, aged 30, is also in police custody after DNA material found in a used condom at the cottage was said to be linked to him and one of the victims. Additional reports described him as a cooperating witness, who said he saw the 44-year-old moving a rifle from one car to another before police could arrive to carry out an inspection.

The exact date and time of the murders remains unknown while issues have been raised over police handling the investigation, including delays in finding the burial site and questions about sex trafficking left unanswered.

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