By Constantinos Psillides
Giorgos Kyriakides, 35, was sentenced on Wednesday by the Criminal Court to 20 years in jail for the murder of his wife Christina Kalaitzidou, 30, in March 2012.
Kyriakides admitted before court to killing his wife, in exchange for the prosecution dropping the charge for premeditated murder, which carried a life sentence.
He nearly got away with the murder of his wife, after successfully staging the crime scene to cover his tracks. When police came to the scene, they found Kalaitzidou dead in her bed dead with minor burns on her hand and a cigarette and ashtray next to her. Police were called by neighbours in Dherynia who saw smoke coming out from the window.
Following a post mortem, state pathologist Eleni Antoniou had attributed her death to asphyxiation due to smoke inhalation. The pathologist’s ruling didn’t sit well with Kalaitzidou’s family, who upon receiving her body for burial noticed that her face was bruised.
The family gave consent for her body to be exhumed and sent to London for a more detailed post mortem. Doctors found that Kalaitzidou had no traces of smoke in her throat and that her death was indeed the result of asphyxiation but it was due to strangulation. They also ruled that Kalaitzidou’s body had obvious signs of battery.
The case was re-opened and Kyriakides was arrested. In light of the new evidence Kyriakides opted to confess to avoid a life sentence.
In passing down the verdict, the judge said that the crime was heinous and that not coming forward with the truth for two years was inexcusable. Kyriakides was also sentences to five years for arson, which will be served concurrently.