The Paphos district court will decide on Friday on a police request to re-remand in custody a suspect in the case of the death of a 46-year-old Bulgarian woman, believed to have been mauled by dogs.
The victim, Petruna Nikolova, was found close to death in a field in Yeroskipou on February 22 and died on the way to hospital.
Police had arrested two people – a 27-year-old man and his father, 54. They are the owners of nearby premises where a number of dogs, including at least five Rottweilers, were being kept.
The 27-year-old had been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter, and his father on suspicion of acting as an accessory after the fact.
The father has since been released without being charged after his remand expired.
In court on Thursday, police requested that the son’s remand order be extended by another six days.
The court said it would reserve judgment for Friday.
The 27-year-old’s defence lawyer accused the police of seeking to detain his client until March 14, when a new autopsy – the fifth one – is to be carried out on the deceased’s body.
Pathologist Chara Spiliopoulou is to be flown in from Greece to carry out the post-mortem on Nikolova’s body due to the conflicting results from the previous four autopsies, three of which indicated the woman had died from a dog attack and one – the first – from farming equipment.
Earlier, the court had heard that blood found in a nearby dog cage was believed to be that of the deceased.
Police told the court that the blood had been identified through DNA testing by the Genetics Institute in Cyprus.
Police are continuing their search for the carcasses of two dogs thought to have attacked Nikolova and in whose cage the blood was found.
The dogs are believed to have been killed and buried after the attack.
Detectives are also searching for a hunting shotgun – belonging to the 54-year-old – that was reported missing, the suspicion being that the firearm may have been used to put the dogs to death.
Police have meanwhile secured a warrant authorising them to go through the 27-year-old’s phone records on the day of the incident.
The chief investigator told the court he has secured written depositions from two persons who claim that the owners of the dogs would on occasion let their Rottweilers free to roam the premises.
One of the witnesses said he once had his hand bitten.
The defence lawyer countered that reasonable suspicion cannot be based on alleged past incidents involving the dogs.
Nikolova’s body is being guarded at the Paphos general hospital mortuary.
Nikolova arrived in Cyprus a few days before her death with her partner Ivan Ivanov and was staying in Yeroskipou. She was out searching for work when she was found seriously injured in a potato field and died on her way to the hospital before being able to tell anyone what had happened.