VIOLENT as the killing of the three victims was, it was not proven that Christakis Thoma had acted with premeditation, the court ruled on Friday, finding him guilty of three counts of manslaughter.
He had faced trial over the November 2015 murder of brothers Paraschos and Constantinos Dorzis, and their friend Emilios Miltiadous.
Thoma, 31, killed the two brothers, 19 and 21, and Miltiadous, 24, after they arrived at his father’s restaurant in down-town Limassol demanding explanations over a friend request on Facebook he sent to the fiancée of one of the brothers.
He became enraged and chased after them when they tried to run away, killing them one by one with a large kitchen knife before returning to his father’s restaurant at Platia Heroon and then disappearing, only to be caught two days later.
The Limassol criminal court’s ruling sparked protest by the victims’ families, who started shouting inside the courtroom and had to be ejected by police.
In its ruling, the court said that the incident lasted only a few minutes – about ten – and noted that the circumstances were such that Thoma could not have calmly contemplated the result of his actions.
The court also found that the three men’s murder had been the result of Thoma’s intense emotional state, who had been “out of control”, and that it had been triggered by an earlier incident at his father’s restaurant.
Certain elements of the incident do not suggest premeditation, the court said, including the fact that Thoma chased the three men in plain sight of onlookers, not making any effort to conceal his identity, did not choose a murder weapon beforehand, having picked up a knife he found from the restaurant’s kitchen, and answered one of the victims’ mobile phones, having a brief conversation with the two brothers’ father.
The court found Thoma guilty on three counts of manslaughter, and set May 15 as the date it will hear mitigation arguments.
Outside the court, the victims’ families told media that the ruling does not vindicate them and that “there is no real justice in our country”.