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Man held after three people stabbed and pub burned down (updated)

A 35-year-old man was remanded on Tuesday for eight days in connection with stabbing three people in a Larnaca club and setting fire to a pub in Oroklini.

Larnaca District Court issued the detention order against the Oroklini resident to facilitate police investigating cases of causing actual bodily harm, carrying a knife, malicious damage and arson, all committed in the early hours of Tuesday.

Investigating officer Matheos Soteriou, in requesting the remand order told the court that police were called to the Paparazzi night club in Larnaca at 3.10am following reports of three people having been injured.

On arriving at the scene, clients of the club told CID cops that the suspect had pulled a knife on the owner of the club, from Ormidia, a man from Larnaca and a Palestinian, during an altercation and stabbed them.

The investigator said the injured were taken to A&E in Larnaca where the first was treated for a cut and swelling of his left upper eyelid, injury to his left eye and an open wound on his left arm. The second man sustained a cut to his right thumb and wrist while the Palestinian bore a cut to his upper lip which needed stitching.

The court heard that a foldable knife with a nine-centimetre blade and a sharp tip, believed to have been used by the suspect, was found on the premises and taken as evidence.

Meanwhile, Soteriou told the court, at around 03.40am a fire broke out at the Manoulia pub in Oroklini, which the fire department extinguished. Initial investigations into the fire, which caused damage to the front of the premises, came to the conclusion that it was set maliciously.

Eyewitness saw a yellow van leaving the scene and after inquiries found the registered owner of the vehicle to be the suspect connected to the stabbing incident. According to witnesses, the suspect had previously been thrown out the pub at 1.30am after causing problems.

Soteriou then told the court that at around 03.50am police received a report that the 35-year-old had returned to the Paparazzi where he deliberately and illegally rammed the yellow van into the window of the premises.

Larnaca CID then revisited the scene where they discovered the vehicle on the pavement.

The investigator said the suspect then made his way on foot to Larnaca police station where he handed himself in, making a voluntary statement admitting to the offences of arson and malicious damage without however implicating himself for carrying a knife or causing injuries.

The suspect, who bore cuts to various parts of his body and a wound to his left leg was arrested shortly before 9am under a judicial warrant. After being cautioned he told police “I have nothing to do with carrying a knife, with the rest I do.”

A search of his house found nothing incriminating but the clothes he wore were taken for forensic examination.

In summing up his remand request, Soteriou said the investigation was at an early stage, that he expected some 30 statements to be taken from the injured men, patrons and employees of the two establishments involved, neighbours, eyewitnesses and experts.

Footage from closed-circuit cameras would be inspected and investigations made at the club to collect further evidence. An identity parade will be carried out to see if witnesses recognise the 35-year-old who will walk police through the night’s events.

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