Cyprus Mail

‘I’m innocent,’ says defendant in Rosca manslaughter case

Victim Daniela Rosca

A 27-year-old man accused of being the instigator of a burglary that led to the death of a Moldovan woman, 36, in Larnaca in 2015 claimed in court on Monday that he was innocent and the person who implicated him was lying.

Panayiotis Alexandrou opted to read a statement from the dock without being cross-examined by the prosecution, after the criminal court ruled that he had to mount a defence over the killing of Daniella Rosca in October 2015. He is facing manslaughter and conspiracy charges.

“I am innocent in all offences I am being accused of,” he said. “I have nothing to do with Daniela Rosca’s death, nor the burglary of her flat,” he said.

Rosca was found dead in her flat in the Mackenzie area on November 1.

Alexandrou admitted to having been romantically involved with Rosca since August 2014, despite being engaged at the time, but said he broke off the illicit affair in mid-2015.

Soon after the break-up, the safe that Alexandrou’s parents kept in their home, containing €25,000 in cash, was stolen. He believed the break-up and the break-in were linked.

The defendant has been identified as the instigator of the attack that led to her death by two Bulgarian men — Plamen Pelov, 32, and Daniel Slavchev, 30 – who have pleaded guilty and jailed for 13 and 10 years respectively. Pelov was the main prosecution witness.

“Plamen Pelov said many lies, blaming me for acts that I haven’t done to lighten his position and get a reduced sentence for the things he admitted to doing,” Alexandrou said.

The two Bulgarians broke into the woman’s apartment on the night of October 31, to try and take back the €25,000 she allegedly stole from Alexandrou.

One of the men 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.

He 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 and died.

The defendant said he knew Pelov from the gym they both frequented. He said he had hired him several times to unload containers.

Alexandrou said when he told Pelov about the theft, he offered to help him find out if Rosca was involved.

He said it was Pelov’s idea to place a GPS tracker on her car; it was left there for around 10 days before Alexandrou told Pelov to remove it because there had been no result.

From the day it was removed, he told the court, he did not deal with the surveillance matter again, nor did he have any other conversation with Pelov on the matter. Pelov did not tell him that he continued to follow Rosca.

Alexandrou said he had no contact with Pelov since mid-October 2015.

“Plamen is lying when he says that I pressured him to enter the flat and rob Daniella,” he said.

He told the court that when he learned of her death, Pelov had assured him on the phone that he “neither heard about the murder, nor did he know anything.”

“Whatever he says to implicate me in the case are lies … I’m innocent.”

The court set Wednesday, April 5 for the closing arguments.

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