Cyprus Mail
Crime Cyprus

Court of Appeal expected to rule on Monday in Hadjicostis murder case

Elena Skordelli

The Court of Appeal is on Monday expected to issue its decision on hearing the appeal of four people convicted in the murder of Sigma boss Andis Hadjicostis in January 2010.

The appeals have been filed by the lawyers for lifers Elena Skordelli, a former Sigma presenter, her brother Tassos Krasopoulos, plus Gregoris Xenofontos and Andreas Gregoriou.

The four have challenged the judgment of the court of first instance at the Nicosia Assizes, citing errors of law and incorrect assessment of the facts.

The appeals request was heard at the Supreme Court in March this year but it set aside judgment.

The defence lawyers of the four cited “inadequate” and “incompetent” lawyering by part of the original defence team, arguing that “one mistake was enough to destroy the defence of an accused”.

They also spoke of “suspicious” testimony from Fanos Hadjigeorgiou the main witness for the prosecution, claiming that the court of first instance should have sought corroboration of his testimony.

For its part, the prosecution had said the Republic adopted in its entirety the decision of the court of first instance as a “safe conviction”. They were all handed life imprisonment.

In June, 2013 the Nicosia Court found all four guilty of conspiring to murder Hadjicostis, 41, gunned down as he got out of his car outside his home on the night of January 11 at around 9pm.

According to the court’s verdict, Skordelli and her brother – both shareholders in the Sigma television station – masterminded the assassination of Hadjicostis, whom they saw as impeding their plans to gain a controlling interest in the company.

The court said Skordelli and her brother began hatching plans to kill the Sigma boss as far back as October 2009.

The judges also accepted that a meeting of the conspirators took place at Krasopoulis’ house in December 2009.

Xenofontos was pegged as the shooter, firing off two shots, while Fanos Hadjigeorgiou, the prosecution witness, said he was the one who drove the getaway bike. The murder weapon was never found.

Crucially for its decision, the court said it considered Hadjigeorgiou – who admitted to participating in the crime – a credible witness.

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