Cyprus Mail

Pensioner pleads not guilty to attempted murder

A 65-year-old man from Avgorou, Famagusta, on Tuesday denied six charges relating to the attempted murder of another pensioner from the same village last November, who was shot in the back as he drove his tractor.

Before the Larnaca-Famagusta criminal court, Kallis Antoniou, 65, pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder of Panayiotis Solomou, 67, illegal possession, carrying, and use of a firearm, and unlicensed possession and carrying of explosives.

The court set May 23, 2016, as the hearing commencement date, and ordered Antoniou be held at Central Prisons until then.

According to defence counsel Yiannis Polychronis, the witness list for the defence includes 42 individuals, including police officers, doctors from the Famagusta, Larnaca, and Nicosia general hospitals, and relatives of both the defendant and the victim.

The incident took place on the evening of November 9, 2015, while Solomou was driving his tractor, heading towards his plot of land, when he was shot in the back.

Pellets struck the 67-year-old farmer on the back of his head, his right shoulder, and down his back.

But despite his injuries, Solomou managed to stop the tractor and phone his son, who picked him up and took him to the hospital.

Before losing consciousness, Solomou was able to tell his son that “Kallis shot me”, and police said he repeated the claim while undergoing treatment at the Famagusta general hospital.

Antoniou was arrested the same night, but denied any involvement, claiming he had not left his house that day.

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