Cyprus Mail
Crime Cyprus

Main suspect in Strovolos murders says he wants to change not guilty plea

Main suspect Loizos Tzionis (back) (Christos Theodorides)

The main defendant in the Strovolos double murder trial told the court on Thursday that he wanted to change his not guilty plea to the charges he is facing.

His lawyer persuaded the court to allow him further consultation with suspect Loizos Tzionis before any further details could be revealed.

During the start of the hearing, Tzionis had asked to be given time to address the court, prompting his lawyer to intervene immediately.

He asked the court to allow him to consult with Tzionis because he had been unable to meet his client after Wednesday’s hearing, which was cut short after Tzionis declared himself psychologically unable to continue observing the proceedings.

Tzionis insisted that he did not need any consultation, and upon being questioned by the court on what he wanted to say, Tzionis replied: “I want to change my plea to the charges I am facing.”

After a 10-minute recess to allow the defendant to consult with his lawyer, the latter asked that the hearing be adjourned so that he could meet with his client at the central prisons “to discuss his wish to change his plea to some charges”.

The court agreed to postpone the hearing to 9am on Friday after the prosecution did not object.

On Wednesday, Tzionis had declared himself psychologically unfit after the prosecuting team requested to present in court the written testimony of 15-year-old Constantinos Hadjigeorgiou, son of couple Giorgos Hadjigeorgiou, 60, and Dina Sergiou, 59 who were killed in a botched robbery in Strovolos in April last year.

The court was to announce its decision regarding whether it would allow the presentation of the 15-year-old’s statement in court on Thursday. The announcement of that decision has now been shifted to Friday.

Also on trial for the double murder are Lefteris Solomou the half-brother of Tzionis, and friend Marios Hadjixenophontos.

The three face two counts of premeditated murder, conspiracy to commit felony, burglary, robbery and abduction. Premeditated murder carries an automatic life sentence. All three have pleaded not guilty to all charges.

A fourth defendant, Tzionis’ ex-girlfriend Sarah Shams, was sentenced to four years in jail in February on a single charge of conspiracy to commit robber. She had agreed to cooperate with the state in prosecuting the other defendants.

Shams was expected to testify before the court on Wednesday, but her testimony was postponed due to the absence of the lawyer of Hadjixenophontos for health reasons.



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