The Supreme Court has refused to reopen Daniela Rosca’s murder case, a woman who was killed by intruders in her own home in Larnaca, while the convicted mastermind insists he has new information that could exonerate him.
According to local media, Panayiotis Alexandrou, a 27-year-old Greek Cypriot man who was convicted in the 2015 murder of his ex-girlfriend, had filed for re-trial saying he had new information.
Alexandrou, who was convicted to 15 years for the murder of his 37-year-old Daniela Rosca, a Moldovan national who lived permanently in Cyprus, says he discovered new information alleging perjury on the part of one witness as well as a plot between police and prosecutors to blame him for her murder.
Two Bulgarian men in their thirties, Plamen Pelov and Daniel Slavchev, were sentenced to 13 and 10 years respectively after Daniela was found beaten to death at her Larnaca home, at a borough in the Mackenzie area.
Alexandrou denied charges after being implicated by the two convicted killers as the mastermind of the crime.
Pelov, who had turned main witness for the prosecution, told the Larnaca Criminal Court that Alexandrou was putting pressure on him to help retrieve stolen money from Daniela, after Alexandrou suspected her of being involved in a theft at his parent’s home, where €25,000 went missing from a safe.
“I am sorry for Daniela’s death, but it is not fair that only Slavchev and I pay for it. If Panayiotis Alexandrou didn’t pressure me all the time to do this, I would not have done it,” said Pelov.
The court heard how Pelov entered the apartment by descending from the roof and later heard a noise at the front door. When Daniela switched on the light, she came across Pelov and began screaming “police, police” as he tried to run out the front door.
The witness said he knocked her down while trying to escape, and he then took her back inside and called for Slavchev to come in “because they had a problem.”
Daniela was discovered dead on the floor inside her apartment, with head injuries and her hands tied behind her back with a black cord from a shopping bag. She had suffocated in her own blood.
In a motion to re-open the case, Alexandrou alleged that his former co-defendant had approached him in jail and apologized for implicating him in the murder.
“I had no other choice but to testify against you after police had threatened to arrest my ex wife,” the man told Alexandrou according to the appellant.
According to Alexandrou, police used an outstanding European warrant for one of the two convicted killers’ ex wife, in connection with a drug case, to pressure the witness to testify for the prosecution, otherwise she would get arrested “and their underage child would be alone.”
Reports also said state prosecutors had convinced the court that Alexandrou was the one who had pointed out Daniela’s apartment and car to the intruder, with the appellant saying he was ready to prove that the convicted killer had the information in advance based on his acquaintance with another woman who was living next door to the victim.
Alexandrou also alleges that the witness had lied about the nationality of the woman in order to hide a European warrant against her.
But a representative from the state attorney’s office, who argued against the re-opening of the case before the Supreme Court, said the appeal did not meet the requirements.
The state attorney said it was the position of the attorney general to request longer sentences as a counter claim to asking for lesser sentences.
In addition, the attorney said the convicted killer in question, who was alleged to have made a verbal statement of apology, later provided authorities with a sworn statement denying such a conversation had taken place behind bars.
“He has refuted all allegations and further pointed out any thoughts were only in retrospect,” the attorney argued.
The state attorney went on to argue further that the appellant’s information about prosecutorial details was nothing new and was in fact included in the police file, to which the appellant had access if due diligence had been exercised.
But Alexandrou says his lawyer had been away sick during parts of the process, suggesting lack of adequate legal representation.
Alexandrou maintains that police were not forthcoming with information, saying he and his legal defence had been kept in the dark even about the woman, with whom one of the two convicted killers had an affair, arguing police investigators never divulged information regarding her reservation for two out of Cyprus the day after Daniela’s death.
The state attorney reiterated that the alleged confession in prison, something the convicted killer has categorically denied ever giving verbally, could not be a basis to reopen the case, adding that that the witness for the prosecution had been found to be reliable by a criminal court.
Local media said the case against Alexandrou was built solely on the testimony of the prosecution witness, while the Supreme Court ruled there was no new evidence that would warrant a re-opening of the case.