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Crime Cyprus

Police investigating Ayia Napa murder claims

Police are investigating claims made by one of the two Greek nationals convicted of the murder of five men in Ayia Napa in 2012, regarding who was behind the incident, the Justice Minister said on Monday.

Speaking following an event to evaluate the neighbourhood watch programme in Aradippou Ionas Nicolaou said that investigators would be arriving from Greece to look into a statement made by one of the guilty men, Anastasios Tsehilides, naming the man who gave him the weapon, the money for the hit and the masterminds behind the incident.

Demetris Mamalikopoulos, 29, and Tsehilides, 41, were on Friday sentenced to five counts each of life in prison, one for each of their victims, the longest sentence ever handed out in Cyprus, at Larnaca Criminal Court.

“In the middle of an investigation it is not easy to divulge anything but every piece of information we receive is investigated to see whether it is connected or related to information we already have so we can fully solve this case, because we have yet to discover who the masterminds of the crime were,” Nicolaou said.

The justice minister said he was unaware if Tsehilides had given up the information in exchange for leniency from the court.

He also denied claims that Mamalikopoulos was close to cracking and giving police more information about the night in question.

The two Greek nationals had originally pleaded not guilty to the murder of five men – three Greek Cypriots and two Romanians – on a side street in the heart of Ayia Napa’s nightclub scene, near the popular Red Square bar on June 23, 2012.

Four of the victims were working for local businessman Phanos Kalopsidiotis, who Famagusta police believe was the culprits’ real target.

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