Two Russian men will face trial in the Larnaca criminal court over the murder of Bulgarian Daniel Nikolov, 51, in the victim’s home earlier this month, it was announced on Tuesday.
The two men, Sergey Kiriyanov, 49, and Andrei Ovsiannokov, 57, were arrested by police after Nikolov’s dead body was found with multiple stabbing wounds and a knife stuck in his chest.
Ovsiannokov has been charged with manslaughter, while Kiriyanov was charged with aiding him.
The Larnaca district court, which referred them to a criminal trial, ordered that the 57-year-old remain in custody, while the 49-year-old was released on conditions.
Nikolov’s body was discovered on November 17 after police were informed of a strong smell coming from the flat he lived in near Larnaca port.
Breaking the door down, investigators found a crime scene suggesting an extended struggle.
The next day, police arrested Kiriyanov, who police learned had been involved in a scuffle with Nikolov a week earlier.
On November 19, police arrested Ovsiannokov, who confessed to killing Nikolov.
In his statement, Ovsiannokov said he and the victim had been friends, adding that on the night of the murder the two Russians and the Bulgarian had been drinking together at Nikolov’s Larnaca home.
He claimed that at one point the victim, out of control and having cut himself with two broken glasses, assaulted the Russians, knocking Kiriyanov unconscious.
When police arrived at the scene, Nikolov and Ovsiannokov reconciled, but after police left the Bulgarian would not let his Russian friend leave, resulting in a new scuffle.
During this brawl, the suspect added, Nikolov brandished a knife and moved toward him.
Ovsiannikov then grabbed another knife and stabbed him three times on the back and twice in the stomach.
When Nikolov again tried to attack him, Ovsiannikov said he stuck the knife into his chest.
Then, he told police, he helped Kiriyanov recover and informed him of having killed Nikolov.
They left the flat and headed to Kiriyanov’s home, where the 57-year-old threw the clothes he was wearing in a dumpster, Ovsiannikov said.
The trial will start on January 12, 2018.