The cross-examination Thursday of the key prosecution witness in the trial of a man charged with the triple murder last November was interrupted after relatives of the victims moved against the defendant in the Limassol courtroom.
Judges temporarily left the room after relatives of the victims began shouting at the accused and began to move against him prompting the police to intervene during the cross-examination of his former girlfriend.
Tensions came to a head when the mother of two of the victims turned to the accused and asked him not to look at her, and he replied “I have eyes and I see.”
Christakis Thoma, is being tried for the killings of siblings Paraschos, 19, and Constantinos Ntorzi, 21, as well as their friend Emilios Miltiadous, 24, who were all fatally stabbed with a knife.
The woman, who had broken up with Thoma some two days before the killing, gave testimony in the packed courtroom at the last hearing before fainting in a corridor following the proceedings.
In a tense atmosphere, she initially told the court she could not testify as she was getting strange looks from people in the crowded room, something which the judge told her to ignore.
She told the court Thoma, whom she met on Facebook, was a pathologically jealous violent person who threatened and beat her on more than one occasion, including one where she took photos of which she shared with the Ntorzi brothers on social media.
He was especially jealous of the friendly relations she had with the brothers, whom she had never met but communicated with on facebook and over the phone.
Thoma, she said, carried a knife on his person and in his car had threatened to kill in one of several quarrels she had with him. Before the killings he had said specifically: “Want crime of passion? You’ll see.”
The woman said that after the murder, Thoma had sent her a message which read: “I don’t regret anything.”
A forensic expert’s examination of the ex-girlfriend confirmed Thoma had been in a violent relationship with her, with signs of past and recent wounds on various parts of her body, some of which were had been inflicted in the days leading up to the killings.
Thoma denies the premeditated murder of the three youths on the night of November 24 after which he fled the scene. He was arrested two days later.
The defendant maintained everything had started when he broke up with the girlfriend who had persuaded the Ntorzi brothers to phone and continually harass him and one of his two underage children.
Thoma said he considered this a misunderstanding, which was sorted out after intervention by mutual acquaintances.
However, one of the Ntorzi brothers who was engaged to a girl at the time of the killings, accused Thoma of badmouthing his fiancée. This led to a telephone conversation in which the two agreed to meet at Thoma’s father’s restaurant in Heroes Square in Limassol.
The three victims arrived and began cursing him outside the restaurant with Thoma saying he had asked them to sit down and accept his hospitality. He told the court he lost his temper when they continued to swear at him and his children, grabbing a knife to intimidate them. At which point they began throwing chairs at him.
He said this led to him chasing the men, followed by his father in tow, yelling at him to stop. Not realising they were dead after stabbing them in the street, he returned to the restaurant and continued work until finding out from the internet that the three were dead.