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Suspect in attempted murder to turn state witness

Main suspect Iosif Iosif is currently in custody in the north

A 26-year-old man on Wednesday pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting two other men held in connection with a murder attempt against a businessman in Nicosia in November last year.

Prosecutors also informed the court that the Greek Cypriot man has agreed to turn state’s evidence in the case, which means he will testify against the defendants.

The 26-year-old faces a single charge of aiding and abetting two individuals after the fact.

The defence lawyer of one of the two, a 37-year-old Palestinian man, asked the criminal court for time to study the evidence before responding to the charges.

The court said the next hearing will be on January 29.

The court heard that the 26-year-old had received instructions from Iosif Iosif, 40, who fled to the north after the November 26 murder attempt. Iosif, aka Sifis, was detained by Turkish Cypriot authorities last week but it is still unclear whether they are prepared to hand him over to Greek Cypriot police.

Police are also seeking a 37-year-old Slovakian man, Miroslav Balazovjech, who could be using the name Rudolf Dydi.

The case concerns the attempt against the life of Nicos Rodotheou in Nicosia late on November 26. Two unknown individuals on a moped fired five shots at Rodotheou’s car but missed the businessman.

The assailants then fled the scene.

Rodotheou is the brother of businessman Andros Rodotheou who was gunned down while at a friend’s house at the village of Gerasa, Limassol in April last year.

Police initially arrested three people who had been trying to hide a moped, which was later identified by Rodotheou as being the same as the one used in the shooting.

An arrest warrant was later issued for Sifis, who apparently tried to escape by fleeing to northern Cyprus.

He was arrested in a flat in Famagusta last week in possession of two 9mm pistols and a large number of rounds.

Two Turkish Cypriots suspected of helping Sifis were also detained.

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