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Bulgarians to be sentenced for Rosca murder (Updated)

Victim Daniela Rosca

Two Bulgarian nationals who admitted killing a Moldovan woman a year ago, appeared before Larnaca Thursday for summing up and mitigation.

Plamen Pelov and Daniel Slatchev admitted to five charges including manslaughter and conspiracy.

The trial of Panayiotis Alexandrou, the third suspect in the murder of Moldovan Daniela Rosca, was postponed until November 25 so sentence can be passed on the other two who will then turn state witnesses.

Prosecution lawyer Thanassis Papanikolaou read the facts of the case and said among other things that on the fateful evening of October 31, 2015 when the two defendants entered Rosca’s apartment, her car was at a mechanic being fixed so the accused did not know whether she was at home or not.

Plamen Pelov accessed the 37-year-old’s flat from the roof, entering through the bathroom window. As soon as Rosca heard the noise, she opened the front door and started shouting “police, police.”

Pelov then ran to the door and punched Rosca. She fell in the stairwell.  He then hoisted her over his shoulder, went into the apartment and when she resisted, threw her down. She hit her head on the coffee table, which broke.

Lawyers representing the two put forward as mitigating arguments that the men were not armed, that they had been told by Alexandrou that Rosca was not at home, that they were surprised when she was,  and they had no intention of killing her.

Pelov’s lawyer said his client “regretted the offences he had admitted to the police and the court, to the point that the remorse he felt would not let him sleep and that he had contacted the lawyer and “asked to come to Cyprus voluntarily from Budapest to testify and be punished for his involvement in the case.”

His client, he argued had come to Cyprus from Bulgaria in 2008 for a better future and had met the third defendant in a gym. Alexandrou had told him that Rosca, who also went to the same gym, and with whom he had been in a relationship, had stolen money and jewellery from the home of his parents.

According to the lawyer, Alexandrou had asked his client to help him steal back the items in exchange for one third, with another third to be given to an accomplice who he would find to help him, leaving the last third for Alexandrou.

He said his client had initially refused, but had been threatened, resulting in Pelov being convinced to find a friend to help him in the burglary, “an action which unfortunately led to the death of Daniela Rosca.”

The lawyer said the two defendants had gone to the apartment three or four times and failed to carry out the burglary. On October 31, 2015, Alexandrou had said that the job “must be done tonight,” assuring them Rosca was not home.

“Pelov did not take with him either a defensive or offensive object and could not have imagined that things would evolve as they did,” the lawyer said.

The lawyer also cited as mitigating factors the personal, family and financial circumstances of his client, his age, clean criminal record, that he would be the main witness against Alexandrou and the fact that his testimony essentially would put himself at risk.

The lawyer for the second accused, Daniel Slavchev referred to his “circumstantial involvement” and argued that his client never met, spoke with or contacted Alexandrou and that what he knew was that with Slavchev he would enter the house to steal, which he attempted only when he saw the victim’s car was missing from her garage.

The lawyer explained that when the first accused dropped from the roof terrace into the victim’s apartment, his client picked up the rope, came down from the roof and went to the car to wait for him.

Once in the car, the lawyer said, Pelov communicated with him telling him there was a problem and to come up. This he did without covering his face with any kind of hood, unlike Pelov.

Slavchev, was surprised by the presence of Rosca in the apartment. He brought her to the bedroom where he tied her up with a shoelace so they could get away, not to kill her, the lawyer said.

Sentencing was set for November 9 with the two remaining in prison until that date.

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