The Nicosia District Court on Saturday renewed for eight days the remands of three men arrested last week on suspicion of taking part in a plot to kill an underworld figure last year.
The three suspects – a 30-year-old Turkish Cypriot, a 35-year-old Greek Cypriot and a 47-year-old Serb who is currently a convict in the central prisons, serving out a sentence for a drugs-related offence – were remanded in custody for eight days last week. Police requested a renewal of their remand as the three are suspected of having played a part in arranging or mediating for the arrival of two Serb hitmen, whose target is believed to have been Alexis Mavromichalis, aka ‘Alexoui’.
Chief inspector Marcos Nikolettis told the court that on March 22, 2016, the force had received an urgent message from Belgrade Interpol notifying them of an impending contract killing.
The Serbian authorities had been investigating a crime ring when they found out that a number of its members were in Cyprus plotting a murder.
The court heard that one of the wanted men had contacted an unknown individual in Nicosia’s central prison, who eventually hired him to carry out the contract for €100,000.
Police have also issued arrest warrants for five more people – four foreign nationals and a Cypriot – in connection with the case. One of them was arrested recently abroad and a procedure is underway for his extradition to Cyprus.
Police said initial investigations showed that the possible target was Alexis Mavromichalis from Nicosia. It also emerged that the contact was Marios Christodoulou, aka Benny, currently doing life in jail for the killing of Phanos Kalopsidiotis and conspiracy to murder Mavromichalis.
Serbian authorities had notified their Cypriot counterparts that the wanted man had travelled to Cyprus through the occupied areas, and that he was staying at a hotel in north Nicosia. Serbian Interpol said he had meetings with Benny the next days and that he had bought two tickets for two of the other wanted men to come to Cyprus. The two arrived in Cyprus through the north but left a few hours later after they had been tipped off that they were being monitored.