Cyprus Mail

Key witness in murder trial thought victim would not be at home

Victim Daniela Rosca

Plamen Pelov, a key witness in the ongoing trial for the November 2015 killing of Daniela Rosca in her Makenzie area apartment, told the Larnaca court on Thursday that the defendant led him to believe the victim was not in her flat when he and another man broke in.

During the course of the same trial, Pelov and Daniel Slatchev previously pleaded guilty to killing Rosca. The two Bulgarian nationals, who have since turned state witnesses, were handed down jail sentences of 13 and 10 years, respectively.

The defendant is Panayiotis Alexandrou, 27, from Livadia. He is facing charges of manslaughter and conspiracy to commit a felony, accused of masterminding the break-in into the victim’s flat.

Slavchev had told detectives after his arrest that he and Pelov were acting on the instructions of Alexandrou, who allegedly orchestrated the killing, as Alexandrou believed Rosca had been involved in stealing €25,000 from his parents’ house after he had ended a relationship with her.

Slavchev and Pelov were allegedly ordered to break into Rosca’s apartment and force her to hand over the money.

On entering the flat, Slavchev claimed he saw Pelov, clad in a hood and gloves, holding a woman whose face he couldn’t make out, from behind.

He maintained he saw Pelov move the woman to another room, pushing her to the floor and repeatedly kicking her in the neck and back before using a shoelace, which he said he also touched, to tie the woman’s hands behind her back. He then pushed a pillow against her face to stop her from screaming.

But Pelov, testifying on Thursday, told a different story. He pointed out in the courtroom another man, Marios Michael, identifying the latter as the person who gave him a GPS device which he planted on Rosca’s car in order to keep track of her whereabouts.

According to Pelov, he was instructed to enter the woman’s apartment when she would be out and to steal the money and jewellery which Alexandrou claimed Rosca stole from his parent’s home.

The witness noted that he did not know how the GPS operated.

On the night of October 31, 2015, Pelov said, Alexandrou lied to him about Rosca’s whereabouts.

He said Alexandrou got in touch with him and told him that the GPS on Rosca’s car indicated that she was in Nicosia, so he should break into the woman’s apartment.

However, it turned out that Rosca was in her flat at the time.

Pelov said that both he and Alexandrou kept two mobile phone numbers on two different devices, and that he would use one of his mobiles exclusively to communicate with Alexandrou.

After the killing of Rosca, Pelov said, he left Cyprus on November 2 or 3, 2015.

Rosca’s body was found on November 1.

Pelov is to be cross-examined by the defendant’s lawyer on January 23.

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