Cyprus Mail

Supreme court hears appeal against acquittal of dog killers

Billy undergoing treatment

President of the Supreme Court Myron Nikolatos chaired on Thursday the appeal hearing filed by the attorney-general against the acquittal by the Famagusta district court in 2015 of two former hotel employees who were accused of killing a dog called Billy by throwing him into a hotel’s cardboard crusher in the summer of 2014.
The two hotel employees – a Greek Cypriot and a Bulgarian – were put on trial but acquitted in December 2015 due to lack of evidence and witnesses.
The Animal Party, which refused to abandon the case, had sent Attorney- General Costas Clerides a memo expressing their disagreement with the ruling, citing a number of questions and uncertainties. Clerides filed an appeal a few days later.
Present at Thursday’s hearing, was the lawyer only of the Greek Cypriot defendant, as the Bulgarian defendant has left the country, the head of the Animal Party, Kyriacos Kyriacou said.
“The hearing went very well, a number of questions were raised concerning the Famagusta district court’s ruling,” Kyriacou said.
He added that discussion was mainly focused on the law on animal welfare and especially on the prohibition of animal abuse and torture.
According to Kyriacou, the supreme court said it would announce its decision shortly.
The story of Billy the dog shocked the island in 2014 and made the news abroad after the details of his death became public.
Billy, a stray black poodle was reportedly chased by the two Protaras hotel employees because he was on the hotel’s grounds, beaten and thrown alive into a cardboard crusher. He was rescued by people who heard his dog’s cries, but died a few days later. An autopsy showed the cause of death was a brain haemorrhage from severe trauma to the base of Billy’s skull.
Tsokkos Hotels, the company that manages the hotel, had said that the manager did not instruct the two men to treat the stray dog the way they did, and that they took it upon themselves to dump the animal in the crusher, which they claimed was not operational. They were fired after the incident, while the manager was suspended.

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