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Cyprus

Man arrested two years after suspected wife killing

By George Psyllides

Famagusta police have arrested a man in connection with the 2012 murder of his 30-year-old estranged wife, whose death had been ruled accidental at the time.

Pontian Greek Giorgos Kyriakides, 33, was on Friday remanded in custody for eight days in connection with the death of Christina Kalaitzidou in Dherynia on March 16, 2012.

In a statement to police, the suspect allegedly admitted killing Kalaitzidou.

She was found dead in bed in a flat in Dherynia where she lived with the couple’s three children – all boys — aged five, seven, and eleven.

Police and fire fighters scrambled to the scene after people noticed smoked coming out the window.

They broke into the flat after finding all doors locked.

Officers determined that the fire on the bed, which had gone out in the meantime, had been caused by a cigarette.

The woman had light burns on her right arm.

State pathologist Eleni Antoniou examined the scene and ruled out foul play.

After carrying out a post mortem, Antoniou concluded that the woman died from smoke inhalation.

Her remains were flown for burial to Greece, where her family expressed doubt about the official cause of death.

Visible marks of violence on her face suggested that Kalaitzidou had been murdered, the family said.

Her body was exhumed and a fresh post mortem was carried out while a specialist UK-based centre was asked to provide its views.

The findings, announced to the family and the authorities a few days ago, showed that the cause of death was strangulation and not smoke inhalation.

Police told the court on Friday that it appeared the suspect had hit the woman, strangled her, and then set fire to her bed, where she was found dead.

After her death, the children moved in with their father.

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