Cyprus Mail

One of Low’s killers jailed for ‘violating military zone’ (Update)

Mehmet Akpinar and Sali Ahmet (right)

ONE of two men who reportedly confessed to killing a British man in Ayia Napa last summer was jailed for a year by a military court in the north after admitting to violating a military zone, it emerged Friday.

Arrest warrants issued by Cyprus police for Mehmet Akpinar, 22, and Sali Musa Ahmet, 43, for the August 14 murder of George Low are still outstanding, with authorities in the north refusing to hand over the two fugitives despite reports that the two had admitted to their involvement in the killing.

Turkish Cypriot police captured the two men in Kyrenia on August 19 and detained them for illegally crossing into the north through a military area, but not in connection with the murder.

Ahmet was sentenced on Thursday to a year in jail after admitting to using a forged passport to cross to the government controlled area from the north 670 times over the last five years, as well as leaving the ‘country’ without obtaining permission from the competent ‘authority’, according to the Turkish Cypriot press reports.

Akpinar, who was also awaiting trial on charges relating to illegally entering a military zone, was released days earlier, having served the three-month sentence while in custody.

According to Ayia Napa police, at about 3.30am on the night of the murder, 22-year-old estate agent Low from Dartford, in Kent, and his friend Ben Barker were walking along Grigori Afxentiou Street when they were attacked by two men, armed with knives who then fled.

A blow to his throat, severing his carotid artery proved fatal for Low, while Barker who was stabbed in the back four times, survived.

Eyewitnesses told police the perpetrators looked young, with one described as short and tubby, in jeans and a white shirt. His accomplice was also short, with black hair and was shirtless at the time.

The street in which the incident was played out is right next to the busy main square of the popular seaside party resort, with police saying the area was so crowded at the time of the murder that it was easy for the perpetrators to hide among the revellers.

Police originally issued arrest warrants against the suspects following testimony obtained from 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 implicated herself as an accessory after the fact. In a voluntary statement she had said her boyfriend 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.

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