By George Psyllides
Three men were remanded in custody on Thursday suspected of being behind a bomb that destroyed a car belonging to Paphos Mayor Phedonas Phedonos’ mother at Christmas last year.
The hearing was held at the town’s general hospital because one of the suspects was injured while being chased by police on Wednesday.
Two of the men, 26 and 30, were remanded in custody for eight days while a 20-year-old got two days. The hearing was attended by Phedonos.
The suspects appear to be linked to Elias Mouzos, 38, who is held by police in connection with shooting and injuring two police officers during a gunfight in Limassol on earlier this month.
Police told the court that a suspect currently in custody had told them he was very close with the 26-year-old. In his written statement, the informant told police that a few days before Christmas 2017, the 26-year-old told him he was planning to plant a bomb but did not elaborate.
Late on Christmas Eve, the 26-year-old visited the informant at home in Peyia, where he stayed the night.
The next day he asked the informant whether he had seen in the news what they had done the previous day, police told the court.
The informant said he didn’t and the suspect replied “we planted the bomb at the government official’s mother (car).”
The suspect also told the informant that he had five more ready bombs in his possession but did not say what the targets were.
Police said the explosive used in the bombing was Semtex, the same material found in Mouzos’ possession.
According to the investigator, Mouzos told police that two years ago he had given the 30-year-old, who is the 26-year-old’s brother, 700 grammes of Semtex. Mouzos also claimed that the 30-year-old had stolen an additional 400 grammes of the explosive from him.
Phedonos afterwards urged the police to take the lead in fighting organized crime, arguing that for years nothing was done, resulting in gangs raking in millions from drugs.
The mayor said it was obvious police knew who was behind the crime rings but did not take action in time – either because of inadequacy or because they were in cahoots with the underworld.