Defendant Loy Dejan, a Serbian security guard working for businessman Theofanis Theofanous Kalopsidiotis, who was killed in a gangland-style shootout that left four dead in June 2016 in Ayia Napa, told a court on Tuesday that he had been in the toilet when the shooting started.
The prosecution claim that Dejan was the murderers’ inside man – tipping them off by mobile phone about Kalopsidiotis’ whereabouts and retreating to the toilet during the shooting.
The shootout at the Stone Garden restaurant also killed husband and wife Elias and Skevi Hadjiefthimiou, as well as Yani Vogli, who was one of the gunmen. A second shooter, Aleks Burelli, disappeared after the murders.
Dejan said he had worked as a bodyguard in Romania, where he had a licence to carry a gun.
He added that he came to Cyprus to work as Kalopsidiotis’ personal bodyguard, and developed “mutual trust” with him.
He claimed he had discussed safety measures with Kalopsidiotis on his first day of employment, insisting that his boss find a bulletproof vest to wear at all times.
Dejan also suggested installing a rearview mirror in the passenger-seat, a specialised first-aid kit, and dashboard cameras at the front and back of Kalopsidiotis’ car.
Dejan said that another man, Panayiotis Kallitsionis, and two policemen were also working as Kalopsidiotis’ bodyguards.
He said that on the night of the shootout he had been in the toilet at the back of the restaurant and heard noises he thought were fireworks.
“I was not immediately suspicious because there are fireworks every night in Ayia Napa,” he said.
“Still, it crossed my mind that I should go back outside to see what was going on.”
He said as he left the toilet a waiter came to the back of the restaurant, “almost crawling”, and said “shoot, shoot”.
“I asked him whether [Kalopsidiotis] was OK and he said he was alive,” Dejan said.
“Yiorgos [Charalambous, a policeman] and Kallitsionis were there, armed, and I hoped nothing tragic had happened.”
Addressing allegations that he had used his phone in a suspicious manner, ostensibly to alert the shooters, Dejan said he had three mobile phones, two of which he carried the night of the murder.
“That night, I received a text message and had a conversation with a girl I was flirting with,” he said.
Later, Dejan added, he asked police investigators for his phones back so he could check them.