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25 August, 2019
 
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Sara slams Tzionis with forgotten detail

Defence objects to Sara’s hidden face during court testimony in Strovolos double murder trial

Newsroom

The former girlfriend of accused double murderer Loizos Tzionis says the defendant confided in her that he had been planning to rob the Strovolos couple, who were found stabbed to death in their home in April 2018.

(Click here for an update to the story)

Prosecution witness Sara Shams, the former girlfriend of Tzionis and a former defendant herself in the double murder case, took the witness stand for the prosecution on Monday following a plea deal that landed her in jail for four years on burglary charges.

(Some details below may not be suitable for all readers - viewer discretion is advised)

During the trial, Shams’ testimony slammed Tzionis who is the primary defendant in the case. The witness told the court that the defendant described to her in detail how he had killed 60-year-old Yiorgos Hadjigeorgiou and his 59-year-old wife Dina Sergiou in their home, the bodies of whom were savagely stabbed to death in their own house on 18 April 2018.

According to the witness, Tzionis told her that he tried to smother the female victim with a pillow but she yelled, so he began stabbing her in various parts of the body including the neck, with blood splattering everywhere. The male victim then came upstairs and Tzionis began stabbing him, Shams said, with the defendant telling the witness that he wanted to fight the husband like a man. Shams also said Hadjigeorgiou was telling Tzionis to stop running him through with the knife until he received a final stab in the back.

Shams also said that another co-defendant in the case, Lefteris Solomou, had told her that Tzionis had told him it was easy to kill someone.

“Lefteris told me that Tzionis had told him that it was super easy to kill someone just like in the movies. He was talking about it with excitement,” Shams told the court.

Shams says she had forgotten a crucial detail

The witness also said that Tzionis had confided in her that he had been planning to burglarize the family’s home in advance.

It was noted that Shams never made such a statement to police investigators or in court, with state prosecutor Polina Efthyvoulou asking the witness to explain further.

“Why did you not talk about this the first time, Sara?” Efthyvoulou asked.

“I was focusing on the details and this specific point was something I remembered later after I got my prison sentence,” Shams said.

“One day that Ms. Polina was asking me questions and I was responding, they had a look on their face as if I had said something important,” Shams told the court. She added that “they asked me if I had understood the seriousness of what I had just said,” with the witness going on to explain further that “there had been so many things all at once, I only have one brain.”

Hidden face during testimony

Solomou, who was hearing the witness but none of the defendants could see her face, informed the court through his attorney that he wished to change his plea on some of the charges.

Some of the defence attorneys objected over Sham’s face not being viewable by the defendants, citing that they could not evaluate the facial expressions of the witness. The presiding judge sided with the prosecution citing the argument that the court was sufficient in judging the thruthfulness of her statements.

In a previous hearing last month, Solomou’s lawyer, Miranda Angelidou, had accused a police officer on the witness stand of falsifying information. The attorney had argued that Police Lieutenant Stavriani Andreou manufactured statements attributed to her client during his interrogation.

But in a sudden turn of events, Solomou, who is the half-brother of the primary defendant, pleaded guilty on Monday to burglary charges following a short recess. The prosecution later told the court all other charges including premeditated murder were being dropped against Solomou, who was excused from the rest of the hearings until his sentencing day.

During the trial, Shams also said Tzionis was being abusive and that she was searching for a way out of the relationship.

The two remaining defendants, Tzionis and another male, Marios Hadjixenofondos, are facing multiple charges including premeditated murder. Hadjixenofondos is also facing burglary and kidnapping charges while Tzionis admitted those charges last month.

The trial is set to continue this week.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  Nicosia  |  Strovolos  |  murder  |  Tzionis  |  Shams  |  Solomou  |  Efhtyvoulou  |  crime  |  burglary  |  police

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