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One of double-murder defendants changes plea

The scene of the double murder in Strovolos (Christos Theodorides)

One of the defendants in the double murder trial on Friday changed her plea to one of the lesser charges and also hired a new lawyer.

Sarah Shams, 21, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery and also told the court she was changing her representation.

Her lawyer up to that point, Sotiris Argyrou, said the reason for the change was financial as Shams and her family “cannot manage the cost.”

Her defence was taken over by Thanasis Korfiotis who informed the court of his client’s intention to change her plea to one of the charges.

Prosecutor Polina Efthivoulou read out the charge anew to which Shams stated her admission. The prosecution then asked the court for time to consult with the attorney-general as to how to proceed.

Andreas Anastasiou, who represents the main defendant, Loizos Tzionis, 33, said he also needed time to consider how the development may affect his client’s case, as Shams may be used by the state as a prosecution witness.

The court will reconvene on Thursday to sentence Shams.

Tzionis, along with Shams, who was his girlfriend, his 22-year-old friend Marios Hadjixenophontos, and his 23-year-old half-brother, Lefteris Solomou, have been charged with killing Giorgos Hadjigeorgiou, 60, and his wife Dina Sergiou, 59 in April 2018.

They have been charged with two counts of premeditated murder, conspiracy to commit felony,  burglary, robbery and abduction.

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