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Woman who aided murder suspects to be charged

The scene of the stabbing in Ayia Napa (CNA)

The 48-year-old Kamares resident who admitted to helping her wanted boyfriend escape after the August 14 Ayia Napa killing of Briton George Low will have charges levelled at her on September 1 at Famagusta district court.

The court ordered she remain in custody at Nicosia central prisons until her appearance.

Police issued arrest warrants against Mehmet Akpinar, 22, and Ahmed Salih, 43, based on statements made by Koulla Anastasiou, 48, who said she lived with Akpinar in her Kamares home in Larnaca and had aided his escape to the north.

Unemployed Anastasiou, 48, whose eight-day remand order was spent Thursday, implicated herself as an accessory after the fact. In a voluntary statement she said her boyfriend, Akpinar had confided to her that he and Ahmet had stabbed the two British men following an altercation and that she had taken a taxi to Ayia Napa on the night of the killing, with a change of clothes for Akpinar and returned the next day to pick up a phone he had left behind.

The two wanted men were captured in Kyrenia on August 19 by Turkish Cypriot police and brought before a north Nicosia court on where they were remanded not in connection with the murder, but for their illegal violation of a military area, a charge levelled at people crossing into the north by means other than a checkpoint.

Police on Tuesday confirmed that a written request had been submitted to the UN bi-communal technical committee on crime and criminal matters for the handing over of two men wanted for the murder. The committee was set up in 2008 so that both sides could cooperate on issues such as money laundering, illegal immigration, trafficking in human beings and arms and drugs trafficking.

Low from Dartford, in Kent, and his friend Ben Joseph Robert Barker were walking along Grigori Afxentiou Street at around 3.20am on the night of the killing, when the attack took place. Witnesses say they saw two men armed with knives stab the victims and then flee in different directions.

Low suffered a fatal blow to his neck, which severed his carotid artery. Barker was stabbed four times in the back, but survived.

Hakki Celal Onen, the Turkish Cypriot co-chairman of the committee was on Tuesday reported as saying the request would be considered only after the suspects were tried in a Turkish Cypriot military court for trespassing into a military area, charges stemming from the two men allegedly crossing north at least twice through areas other than official crossing points.


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