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Two men jailed after village shoot out

TWO MEN were on Tuesday convicted to seven and four years in jail in connection with a shoot-out that took place in Peristerona village, Nicosia district, on February 28.
The Nicosia District court sentenced George Zavrantonas to seven years for the illegal possession of ammunition, illegal transportation of a firearm and inflicting heavy bodily damage.
Koullis Koshiaris was convicted for illegal possession of stolen antiquities, illegal possession of ammunition and transporting a firearm.
The shoot-out took place outside a restaurant in Peristerona on the night of February 28. Zavrantonas and Koshiaris were found injured outside it at around 8.30pm.
Police had arrested the pair, as well as two other suspects who accompanied them. The two others were released shortly after. Authorities were treating the incident as a murder attempt but it was not immediately clear who was trying to kill whom.
Zavrantonas was meant to be abroad as part of the witness protection programme. In 2010 the convict was serving a 12 year sentence for attempted murder but was freed after he gave police information about other crimes, including the Andis Hadjicostis murder that took place on January 2010.
Eleni Skordeli, her brother Anastasios Krasopoulis, Andreas Gregoriou and Gregoris Xenofontos were convicted to life imprisonment for that crime.
Zavrantonas was one of the main prosecution witnesses, testifying that he was approached by one of the defendants – Andreas Gregoriou – to take a €50,000 contract to kill Hadjicostis. He said he turned it down and that he was not interested in carrying out the murder.
Koshiaris was also implicated in the Hadjicostis case, named by the defence lawyers as one of the persons that conspired to kill Hadjicostis and blame the four defendants. The accusations were considered without merit by police investigators and Koshiaris was never brought before court.

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