There were new developments on Monday in the Strovolos double murder trial, with the main defendant changing his plea to guilty on burglary and kidnapping, while still maintains his innocence on the murder charges.
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Loizos Tzionis pleaded guilty to four charges in a Nicosia courtroom on Monday morning, admitting theft conspiracy, home burglary, abduction of a minor, and possession of dangerous instruments. The change of plea to charges 4, 6, 7, and 8 came days after he had told a panel of judges that he wished to address some of the charges against him.
The defence attorney previously raised objections over the teen’s statement, as he would not be given a chance to cross-examine the boy
The defendant is still facing murder charges in the slaying 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. Tzionis pleaded not guilty to all charges in November, while previously, last summer, he originally pleaded guilty to all charges except burglary. He had maintained from the beginning that he did not commit the murders and that there was no break-in because the home was open.
During the hearing on Monday, a crime investigator and witness for the prosecution read out loud a testimony given by the teenage son of the victims, who was described as the only eye witness to the double murder.
Defence attorney Andreas Anastasiou had previously raised objections over the teen’s statement, as he would not be given a chance to cross-examine the boy.
Reports on Monday also said that defence and prosecution exchanged verbal jabs during the hearing. At one time, Tzionis’ lawyer laid blame on state prosecutor Polina Efhtyvoulou, accusing her of having selective memory.
Anastasiou also pressed the investigator on a number of questions about the boy’s testimony, with the witness saying he saw the boy at CID Nicosia headquarters a second time on the same day of the police lineup when the boy gave additional statements to investigators.
The defence also asked questions about the main defendant’s ex girlfriend, Sara Shams, who is expected to testify for the prosecution in mid-July. Sara was initially a co-defendant in the case but pleaded guilty only to burglary charges and was sentenced to four years.
Anastasiou posed a number of questions to the investigator regarding whether Sara had told him about a tablet, a sword, and burglary plans, while the witness clarified that information about a previous burglary at the house of the murdered couple came not from Sara but another defendant.
Tzionis, along with his half-brother Lefteris Solomou and another male, Marios Hadjixenofondos, are facing multiple charges including murder, kidnapping, and burglary.