A 33-YEAR-OLD man on Wednesday pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the shooting death of Panayiotis Stavrou, 54, over a property dispute in the village of Kofinou.
Prodromos Hadjipanayi had originally been charged with premeditated murder, a charge that carries mandatory life imprisonment if found guilty.
In total, the defendant pleaded guilty to nine charges including manslaughter, and attempted murder.
The court will convene again on July 3 to hear the facts of the case.
It will be followed by a mitigation hearing before sentencing.
At the end of yesterday’s hearing, relatives of the victim tried to attack the defendant who was protected by a strong police contingent.
Hadjipanayi is accused of killing Stavrou and injuring his son Giorgos Georgiou as well as three other people during a shooting rampage with a Kalashnikov assault rifle on March 23.
Father and son, Stavrou and Georgiou, had been working on a Turkish-Cypriot house at the time, which appeared to have been at the centre of the dispute.
The 33-year-old defendant had been lobbying the Guardian of Turkish Cypriot Properties at the Interior Ministry to allocate the house to him but it was given to Giorgos Georgiou instead.
The suspect subsequently went to the local market where he allegedly shot and injured the owners, brothers Adamos and Panayiotis Lambrou – with whom he also had property disputes – and 37-year-old Katy Charalambous.
The Guardian of Turkish Cypriot Properties was set up as a government body within the Interior Ministry under the Turkish-Cypriot Properties Law in 1991, and acts as the caretaker of properties belonging to Turkish Cypriots until the settlement of the island’s division.
The Guardian administers the properties, leasing or renting them out to those who qualify, and holding any proceeds – less any obligations paid – in a Turkish Cypriot Property Fund for eventual payment to the properties’ owners.