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22° Nicosia,
14 October, 2019
 
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Tzionis backs away from plea change

Defendant in Strovolos double murder says “there are traps” in the formal charges against him

Newsroom

The defendant in the Strovolos double murder case has been given additional time to contemplate his answers to some of the charges against him.

(Click here for an update to the story)

On Friday morning, Loizos Tzionis appeared before a panel of criminal judges in Nicosia where he was expected to modify some of his answers to charges against him.

A day earlier, the defendant had asked to address the court regarding the charges with his lawyer, Andreas Anastasiou, asking for time to consult with his client. On Thursday, Anastasiou cited the fact that he could not meet with Tzionis in prison a day earlier during a scheduled visit.

The presiding judge asked whether the defendant wished to change his plea regarding the charges he was facing.

“I can’t withdraw the request, my client needs time,” the lawyer replied.

State prosecutor Polina Efhtyvoulou then responded, saying she could not understand.

“I don’t get it, we’re just wasting time,” she said.

Then the defendant spoke up, saying he needed to think it over.

The main defendant’s ex girlfriend, Sara Shams, is expected to testify for the prosecution in mid-July

“There are traps,” Tzionis added.

Tzionis and two co-defendants are facing multiple charges in the double murder of 60-year-old Yiorgos Hadjigeorgiou and his 59-year-old wife Dina Sergiou, both of whom were savagely stabbed to death in their own house on 18 April 2018.

The main defendant’s ex girlfriend, Sara Shams, is expected to testify for the prosecution in mid-July. She was initially a co-defendant in the case, but pleaded guilty only to burglary charges and was sentenced to four years.

Tzionis, along with his half-brother Lefteris Solomou and another male, Marios Hadjixenofondos, are facing multiple charges including murder, kidnapping, and burglary.

Last summer, the primary defendant initially pleaded guilty to all charges except burglary, telling the court that he was not guilty of burglary because, as he said, the house on Zalongou Street was open when he went there.

In November 2018, Tzionis withdrew his guilty plea on all charges. He has maintained from the beginning that he was framed, while his co-defendants, including his ex-girlfriend, reportedly pointed fingers at him for the murders.

The trial resumes on Monday, June 24.

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Cyprus  |  Nicosia  |  Strovolos  |  murder  |  Tzionis  |  Shams  |  Siams  |  police  |  burglary  |  kidnapping  |  plea  |  crime  |  court  |  judge

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