A 49-year-old Russian man who was arrested on Friday afternoon in connection with the murder of a 51-year-old Bulgarian, whose decomposing body was found stabbed in the chest in his Larnaca apartment, was remanded on Saturday for eight days.
The 49-year-old had reportedly had a physical altercation last week with Daniel Nicolov from Bulgaria, who was found dead on Friday with a knife stuck in his chest in his apartment off Makarios Avenue in downtown Larnaca. Police found the victim, whose body had already started to decompose, after neighbours complained of a foul smell coming from the apartment. Nicolov also had several wounds to the chest and back sustained by a sharp object. The 51-year-old was living alone in the apartment.
Police said evidence at the scene suggested a struggle had taken place prior to the murder, as the floor was covered with broken furniture and blood.
Treating the case as premeditated murder, which took place sometime between November 11 and Friday, police arrested the 49-year-old, who appeared in court on Saturday with his right eye and part of his face wrapped in a bandage.
The police investigator told court that on November 11, the two men had had a physical altercation in the same apartment and that officers that went to the scene found them both slightly injured and smelling of alcohol, trying to clean the floor from blood and broken glass.
Nicolov, who had blood on his hands, reportedly told officers that he was injured when the glass he was holding broke. They both told officers that they were friends and had been drinking for quite some time. They apologised for the incident, which they said was due to a misunderstanding. They refused to file complaints against each other, police said, and to be taken to hospital to have their injuries treated.
Neighbours told police that they hadn’t seen Nicolov since that day.
The next day, on November 12, the investigator told court that the suspect went to the Larnaca general hospital with an eye injury seeking medical assistance. The 49-year-old reportedly told staff at the hospital that he had been attacked the previous day while fishing at around noon by two men on Oroklini beach who had asked him to give them alcohol. He said that after refusing to do so, one of them kicked him in the right eye. He claimed he went home after the incident and had his wife to drive him to hospital the next day to seek treatment. He was hospitalised until November 14, police said.
Following the discovery of the body, police issued an arrest warrant against the 49-year-old and a search warrant for his house and car as they secured information that he was the last person to leave Nicolov’s apartment. Police collected a number of items as evidence from the suspect’s house including clothes, knives and his mobile phone which were sent for scientific tests. Inside his car, police found specks of blood. The car was towed to the Larnaca CID for further investigations.
The suspect denies any involvement in the case and made a number of claims that are being investigated. Police said they secured testimony that proves the suspect lied about circumstances concerning his eye injury.