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Suspect linked to deadly Rottweiler attack sent to trial

A 27-year-old man, the owner of the dogs that allegedly mauled to death a Bulgarian woman last month, is to stand trial on charges of manslaughter and causing death through negligence.

On Monday the man was referred directly to a criminal trial.

The Paphos district court ordered that he remain in custody until the first trial hearing, scheduled for April 18.

The victim, Petruna Nikolova, was found close to death in a field in Yeroskipou, Paphos, on February 22 and died on the way to hospital.

Police had arrested two people – the 27-year-old and his father, 54. They are the owners of nearby premises where a number of dogs, including at least five Rottweilers, were being kept.

The 27-year-old had been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter, and his father on suspicion of acting as an accessory after the fact.

The father has since been released without being charged after his remand expired.

Last Friday, just as the court was set to decide on a request to extend the 27-year-old’s remand, the police filed charges against the man.

Authorities discovered a dead Rottweiler buried in a field in the village of Anarita, not far from Yeroskipou.

An autopsy revealed the animal had gunshot wounds on its head – reinforcing suspicions that this may be one of the two Rottweilers that went missing from the suspects’ dog cage after Nikolova’s death – and thus that the suspects had tried to destroy evidence.

Lab analyses are underway to determine whether traces of the victim’s DNA can be found on the dog’s body.

A pathologist from Greece meanwhile is to be flown in to carry out a post-mortem – the fifth one – on Nikolova’s body due to the conflicting results from the previous four autopsies.

Earlier, the court had heard that blood found in a nearby dog cage was believed to be that of the deceased.

Police told the court that the blood had been identified through DNA testing.

Detectives are also searching for a hunting shotgun – belonging to the 54-year-old – that was reported missing, the suspicion being that the firearm may have been used to put the dogs down.

Nikolova arrived in Cyprus a few days before her death with her partner Ivan Ivanov and was staying in Yeroskipou. She was out searching for work when she was found seriously injured in a potato field and died on her way to the hospital before being able to tell anyone what had happened.

 

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