The trial of 31-year-old Christos Thoma accused of taking the lives of three people in a frenzied knife attack last November in the busy Anexartisias area of Limassol began Thursday.
Thoma was brought to Limassol court under tight security, surrounded by heavily armed police, with body searches carried out on all who entered the courtroom.
Agreed facts including forensic reports, photographs and maps from the crime scene were submitted to the court.
Prosecution lawyer Andreas Aristidou suggested to the defence that in order to speed up the proceedings, the written testimony of 63 of the 73 prosecution witnesses be accepted with only the remaining ten having to be summoned to give testimony in court.
The court fixed the next hearings for July 14 and 17 during which prosecution witnesses would be called to testify.
Thoma denies the premeditated murders of brothers Parashos and Constantinos Ntorzi, 19 and 21, and Emilios Miltiadous, 24, during a frenzied knife attack on the night of November 24 after which he fled the scene but was arrested two days later.
The killings followed a heated dispute in Thoma’s father’s souvlakia shop in Heroes square involving the four men over a Larnaca girl the accused was seeing.
The suspect, according to police, had chased the victims and killed them one by one in a side road off Anexartisias Street.