Cyprus Mail

Suspect in double murder drops claims of police coercion

Police officers at the scene of the murder

The main defendant in a double murder trial on Monday rescinded claims that he had been coerced by police and that his rights had been violated, which had prompted the court to conduct a trial within a trial.

Loizos Tzionis’ lawyer withdrew the claims following a hearing on Friday during which the 33-year-old broke down during cross-examination before the Nicosia criminal court and admitted that he had not been coerced by police to admit involvement but was feeling the weight of his own lies.

He had originally claimed he had been coerced into giving statements and doing crime-scene walkthroughs, and that evidence collection by police was done under duress. The claims were made while he was partly suffering from drug withdrawal symptoms.

The court terminated the trial within a trial and resumed with the submission of evidence, which had been interrupted.

On Monday, police submitted a notebook, two knives, clothes, syringes, a  cannabis grinder, dry plant matter, and joints and lighters found at a dwelling in the area of Kornos.

The court adjourned until Wednesday.

Tzionis, believed to be the mastermind of the crime, his half-brother Lefteris Solomou, 23, Sarah Shams, 21, and Marios Hadjixenophontos, 22, have been charged with the premeditated murder of Giorgos Hadjigeorgiou, 60, and his wife Dina Sergiou, 59.

The defendants are accused of killing the couple in what appeared to be a botched robbery on the night of April 18-19. The couple were found in their bedroom stabbed multiple times.

Initially, Tzionis pleaded guilty to all charges save for that of breaking and entering into the victims’ home. He later changed his mind, entering a new plea of not guilty to all charges.




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Source: Cyprus News Agency