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Cyprus

Extradition of Serbian hitmen to conclude gangland killing case

The Ayia Napa restaurant where Kalopsidiotis was gunned down

THE extradition of two Serbian men, thought to be involved in the gangland killing of four people in Ayia Napa last year, will conclude investigation of the quadruple murder and the case will be brought before a court, Justice minister Ionas Nicolaou said on Friday.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a visit to the construction site of the new Paphos Court premises, Nicolaou confirmed reports that the two Serbians, long wanted by police, have been captured.

“During investigation of the quadruple murder case, it was established that two Serbs who had arrived in Cyprus at an earlier date with the intention of committing a crime,” he said.

“After gathering all necessary evidence, the requisite European and international arrest warrants were issued.”

According to the minister, one of the men was located in Russia and the other in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Both were arrested and the process for their extradition has been started.

Asked how long this might take, the minister said that, although these procedures are regulated with regard to completion time, it will depend on whether they choose to exhaust the judicial options available to them in each of these countries, meaning whether they will attempt to challenge their extradition in court.

“But while I can’t give a precise date, as this will depend on legal proceedings in these countries, these are procedures generally concluded promptly,” he said.

“Soon, when the two Serbs are extradited, one more aspect of this case will have been concluded.”

He added that the case was investigated and resolved in a very short period of time.

“The courts have already adjudicated this case,” he said.

“The murders took place in [June] 2016 and the trial was concluded a year later, and today we are heading towards completing investigation on the final aspects of this case.”

In September, two men were handed life terms in September after being found guilty of the quadruple gangland killing.

Panayiotis Pentafkas, 30, and Serbian national Dejan Loy, 42, were found guilty of the premeditated murder of businessman and suspected underworld figure Phanos Kalopsidiotis, police officer Elias Hadjiefthymiou, 46, his wife Skevi, 39, and one of the shooters, Albanian Yiani Vogli.

Pentafkas and Loy were handed four life sentences.

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

Four other people implicated in the shooting were 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.


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