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Cyprus

Greece approves extradition of woman wanted for fatal hit-and-run in 2007 (Updated)

Efi Irodotou, wanted over a hit-and-run in 2007, and two relatives agreed to be extradited to Cyprus and should arrive on the island in the next 10 days, police spokesman Andreas Angelides said on Monday.

“Interpol Athens has informed Interpol Nicosia that the three individuals were brought before court on Monday morning, where they consented to their extradition to Cyprus,” he said.

“Therefore, the relevant ruling of the court’s presiding judge is expected, so that the process can be proceed.”

On Sunday, it was announced that Greek police had arrested 29-year-old Irodotou, who had been on Europol’s ‘most wanted’ list, along with two other people.

Irodotou had been wanted by police since 2011 over a hit-and-run in December 2007 in Limassol that killed 17-year-old motorcyclist Emilios Ioannou.

Back then, state prosecutors preparing for an appeal discovered that evidence submitted in her 2009 trial, in which she was cleared of all charges but one, had been forged and tampered with, and at least one defence witness had perjured himself.

During the original trial, Irodotou was acquitted on all counts except for driving under the influence – her alcohol level had been found three times over the legal limit – for which she got a suspended two-month jail term.

At the trial, an eye-witness had testified that Irodotou had caused the crash by running a red light, and then fled the scene. The eye-witness reported chasing after her to the end of a dead-end road, at which point Irodotou asked her to lie to police that the light had been green when she crossed the intersection.

But these claims were countered by contradictory witness testimony and evidence, the validity of much of which was later challenged.

Once a retrial was ordered by the Supreme Court in 2011, police probes into allegedly falsified evidence submitted in court led to the arrests of the 34-year-old state prosecutor who tried the case and two lawyers who had defended Irodotou.

Such falsification included witness testimony contradicting the timeline reported by the eye-witness who had chased Irodotou after the accident, which was challenged after prosecutors discovered that the time stamps on the electronic attendance register at the eye-witness’ place of work had been tampered with.

Another witness, who had identified himself in court as the man who had installed the system and knew how it worked turned out to have been an employee of Irodotou’s father and had neither installed the system nor any knowledge of how it worked.

Lastly, the police report prepared by one of the investigators also appeared to have been forged.

Suspicion immediately fell on Irodotou’s parents, who appeared to have been implicated in orchestrating the forgeries by those questioned over the discrepancies, but, like their daughter, they too had vanished.

“Greek authorities informed us on Sunday that Irodotou, as well as two relatives of hers, had been located and arrested,” Angelides said.

“The attorney-general has been notified, and they are expected to be brought before a court to begin their extradition hearing today.”

Per procedure, he added, if the fugitives consent, they must be transported to Cyprus to stand trial.

 



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