Cyprus Mail
Crime Cyprus

Paralimni man died instantly after being shot

The home of murdered Yiannis Kalopsidiotis

By Angelos Anastasiou

A single bullet to the torso from a hail of gunfire was what killed Yiannis Kalopsidiotis, 77, from Paralimni who was shot dead on his doorstep on Friday night, police said on Saturday, adding that the only eyewitness was his wife.

The victim was the father of Famagusta businessman Phanos Kalopsidiotis, presumed by the police to have been the intended target of a murderous attack on five individuals – four of whom were employed as Phanos Kalopsidiotis’ security guards – who were shot dead in Ayia Napa in June 2012.

“The murder took place at around “9.30pm, with the victim’s wife being the only eyewitness,” Famagusta police spokesman Giorgos Economou said.

It later emerged that the victim had heard his dogs barking outside his home, which is located in a sparsely populated area between Paralimni and Ayia Napa villages, and stepped out to see what had happened, only to be shot in cold blood by the perpetrator who then disappeared into the night.

Although preliminary police reports spoke of “multiple gunshots”, an autopsy performed on Saturday morning by state pathologist Nicolas Charalambous revealed that the cause of death was a single bullet wound, and that the 77-year-old died instantly due to a perforating injury in the abdomen.

Police are trying to establish whether the victim was shot by one or more attackers, and whether one or more guns were used, while several individuals that police thought may be able to facilitate investigations have been called for questioning.

“Depositions have already been taken by a few individuals and evidence has been collected from the scene,” Economou said.

Immediately following the murder, a riot squad MMAD unit was dispatched to patrol the area.

Upon hearing of the murder, several of the victim’s friends and relatives arrived at his house, including his son, businessman Phanos Kalopsidiotis.

Phanos Kalopsidiotis made headlines two years ago, when four of his security guards and another individual were ambushed and murdered in Ayia Napa village as they left a local pub. It had then been presumed by police – and himself – that the intended target of the attack had been Phanos Kalopsidiotis, and that it was motivated by business disputes and score-settling.

But although two people were accused for the murders and convicted earlier this year, it seems Phanos Kalopsidiotis’ enemies would not be deterred. Police suspect that the perpetrators’ failure to murder Phanos Kalopsidiotis led them to go after his family, in an attempt to intimidate him.

Following the June 2012 murders, he conceded to running betting parlours but denied being involved in illegal activities, such as protection rackets and drugs operations.

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