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Cyprus

Napa murder suspects found guilty, get life (updated)

The burnt remains of the getaway car used in the Ayia Napa murders in June. The car had been stolen in Nicosia some weeks previously

Two men were jailed for life on Friday after being found guilty of the quadruple gangland killing in the popular holiday resort of Ayia Napa last year.

Panayiotis Pentafkas, 30, and Serbian national Dejan Loy, 42, were found guilty of premeditated murder, a charge that carries a mandatory life sentence. They were handed four life sentences.

The pair faced charges in relation with the murders of businessman and suspected underworld figure Phanos Kalopsidiotis and police officer Elias Hadjiefthymiou, 46, and his wife Skevi, 39.

The three were gunned down while having dinner at the Stone Garden restaurant on the evening of June 23. One of the shooters, Albanian Yiani Vogli, was also killed.

A second Albanian national, Aleks Burreli, who took part in the shooting, was never located.

Pentafkas, an Ayia Napa nightclub owner, was said to be the individual who showed the gunmen an escape route that avoided security cameras in the area.

Loy, who worked as Kalopsidiotis’ bodyguard, was accused of collaborating with the shooters by confirming that the victim was at the restaurant shortly before they burst in, guns blazing. He was in the toilet during the shooting.

Four other people implicated in the shooting had been sentenced earlier this year and last year after they admitted guilt.

Marios Christodoulou, 39, also known as Benny, was sentenced to life, as did 32-year-old Charalambos Andreou.

Benny’s girlfriend, Sofia Gregoriou, 28, was given a year, while Sotira Neophytou, 30, was sentenced to five months in jail.

Benny also admitted two counts of attempted murder and three counts of conspiracy to commit felony, that is, murder three other individuals – Alexis Mavromichalis, Iosif Iosif, and Christos Demetriou.

Alexis Mavromichalis, himself a well-known figure, testified during the trial that he suspected Andreas Rodotheou, 61, a suspected underworld boss, and a man named Giorgos Phenek, wanted Kalopsidiotis dead because they had professional differences.

Rodotheou was gunned down earlier this year while having dinner at a friend’s house in Gerasa, Limassol.

Kalopsidiotis, according to Mavromichalis, considered the pair responsible for his father’s murder in 2014 and a gangland hit in Ayia Napa in the summer of 2012 that saw five people killed.

It was said at the time that the shooters were trying to kill Kalopsidiotis who had not been travelling in the car that was ambushed by the shooters.

Benny worked for Rodotheou and had been arrested in February 2015 in connection with a rocket attack in Nicosia that was meant to take out Mavromichalis but killed his 28-year-old bodyguard instead.

The attack followed an incident at the Apoel fan club in which Benny was beaten by Mavromichalis and his men.

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