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25 March, 2023
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Suspect denies involvement in Napa shooting

Cypriot police confident they have the right suspect but feel certain he did not act alone


New information about the gun used in the Ayia Napa shooting has emerged in court proceedings, with prosecutors still feeling confident about the case and the suspect in custody denying any involvement.

(Click here for an update to the story)

According to police, a 38-year-old Greek Cypriot suspect, who is remanded custody in connection with Sunday’s Ayia Napa shooting, had checked in at two different hotels in the resort town, one on Friday and the other on Saturday.

Police prosecutors told a Larnaca judge on Tuesday that they had evidence showing the suspect leaving his hotel on Saturday night at 11:43pm and returned on Sunday morning at 2:12am, some 10 minutes after the shooting.

Initially described by police as a Kalashnikov AK-47, the gun was identified in court as a Model 58 assault rifle

Crime investigators believe the suspect is the shooter, who is seen in video footage outside the Liquid Café Bar on Krio Nero Avenue, firing 25 bullets into the establishment, wounding three men and one woman. The intended target, believed to be Costas Kritikos, a local businessman and former chairman Ayia Napa FC, had left the place minutes prior to the shooting after sensing something was off.

The court also heard about a person talking on the phone before the shooting, who appeared outside the pub, with police saying the shooter and the caller were one and the same, with the suspect allegedly staking out the area and also having a brief conversation with an unknown person in a white vehicle.

The suspect reportedly denied any involvement in the shooting.

“I had nothing to do with this,” the suspect said in court.

According to local media, police investigators say they have DNA linking the suspect to a gun, which was found some 150 metres from the scene of the crime, at the bottom of a staircase leading to an underground parking lot of a local museum.

Initially described by police as a Kalashnikov AK-47, the gun was identified in court as a Model 58 assault rifle. A total of 25 shell casings were retrieved from the scene.

Although at first glance the Soviet designed AK-47 and the Czech-made M-58 may appear similar, even both taking 7.62x39mm rounds, internally they are completely different according to experts, while parts including magazines are not interchangeable.

Police also say clothes found in the suspect’s residence in Paphos match the description of clothing linked to the case under investigation.

Law enforcement and the justice ministry have been scrambling to get to the bottom of the case, with investigators saying the suspect did not act alone.

Cyprus  |  Ayia Napa  |  crime  |  shooting  |  Kalashnikov  |  AK-47  |  Model 58

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