A Nicosia criminal court sentenced Loizos Tzionis to life imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to charges in the Strovolos double murder case in a surprise move in the courtroom.
Presiding Judge Hary Poyiadjis passed two consecutive life sentences on Wednesday afternoon, only hours after handing down a six-year sentence to Tzionis’ brother on a burglary conviction in the same case. Earlier, Tzionis told the court he would admit everything moments after Lefteris Solomou burst into tears upon hearing his own sentence.
The judge spoke about the brutality of the murders of 60-year-old Yiorgos Hadjigeorgiou and his 59-year-old wife Dina Sergiou, whose bodies were found in their home after being stabbed to death multiple times on 18 April 2018.
No DNA evidence linking Tzionis to the actual murders was ever presented in court, but prosecutors successfully placed him at the scene of the crime
Upon hearing his sentence, Tzionis did not show any emotion according to reports. His father reportedly said the sentence was not unexpected.
“Those folks ain’t coming back,” the father said.
No DNA evidence linking Tzionis to the actual murders was ever presented in court during the prolonged trial, while prosecutors successfully placed Tzionis at the scene of the crime. But the judges were also convinced beyond reasonable doubt after hearing from witnesses who said co-defendants told investigators Tzionis had told them he committed the double murder in Strovolos, west Nicosia.
Tzionis was also said to have confessed to the murders during investigation while at the beginning he said he was framed according to reports. He was not represented by legal counsel during his sentencing, after his lawyer Andreas Anastasiou withdrew from the case. Anastasioou reportedly walked away at the moment when Tzionis said he was ready to "admit everything."
In addition to Solomou's sentence, Tzionis' former girlfriend was also sentenced to four years on burglary conspiracy. A fourth defendant, Marios Hadjixenofontos, is also facing similar charges while no update was given on his status.