By Constantinos Psillides
LARNACA District Court remanded two men for two days in custody on Wednesday, in connection with the murder of 22-year old British Cypriot Michael Minas Loizou.
The British Cypriot was stabbed in the neck outside his apartment in the Makenzy area by a 17-year old, in the early hours of Sunday. The two had personal differences and the teenager had been dating the victim’s former girlfriend.
The 17-year old is in custody and has already admitted to the crime, leading police to the murder weapon, a 12cm special forces knife. He maintains that he killed the victim in self-defence, telling police that Loizou called him and arranged for a meeting so they could settle their differences. The 17-year old told investigators that the victim also pulled a knife on him and that he was only defending himself.
The two arrested men, a 27-year old and a 34-year old, admitted to being with the alleged attacker at the time of the murder.
While the 34-year old admitted to knowing the teenager, he had initially told investigators that they weren’t together on the night of the murder.
His statement was contradicted by the 27-year old, who police arrested following reports that he was seen driving the 17-year old before the murder. The second suspect told investigators that all three were together.
According to the police report, the 27-year old said that the three of them were at the older suspect’s house drinking beer and that the teenager had a knife with him. He said in his statement that the suspected murderer told them of the victim and how he wanted to track him down and “deal with him.” He added that both he and the 34-year old tried to calm him down and talk him out of meeting Loizou.
At around 3am all three got in the 27-year old’s car and went for a drive.
The teenager told them to parked in front of Loizou’s apartment. The 34-year old, according to his statement, stepped out of the car and sat on a bench while they waited for the victim to return home.
An hour later, Loizou drove into the parking lot and the teenager got out of the car to meet him. The 34-year old told investigators that he heard the young perpetartor calling out to the victim, saw him walking up to the 22-year old and slap him in the neck. “I thought it was a slap. That’s what it looked and sounded like to me. I left on foot, but I didn’t know that he had stabbed him,” he said, according to the police report.
The 34-year old left the area on foot while the teenager got into the car with the 27-year old and drove off.
The 27-year old told police that the first thing the 17-year old said when he entered the car was “let’s go, let’s go, cause I think I killed him.” The driver said that he argued with the suspect and that he initially told him to get out of the car, but in the end decided to drive off with him. They headed for the 34-year old’s house where the attacker got out and buried the knife.
He then called the 34-year old and told him that the 22-year old “had kicked the bucket” and begged him for help. They agreed to meet outside the Ayios Lazaros church in Larnaca where the 27-year old and the 34-year old decided not to tell police anything, unless they were caught.
Meanwhile, reports have surfaced highlighting the state’s inability to deal with delinquent criminals.
Daily Politis run a report yesterday saying that the mother of the alleged attacker had pleaded repeatedly to the police and the courts to lock her son up so he wouldn’t be out on the streets. The mother said that whenever she asked for her son to stay in jail she was told that due to his age he couldn’t be kept in custody.
Reports suggest that the teenage attacker had already spent four months in jail in July-October last year for car theft, while he also received a two-year suspended jail sentence for the same crime. He was to appear before court on November 17 and 18 and in January in relation to three other cases of car theft.