Cyprus Mail

Double murder defendant said was forced to go to scene of crime

Police officers at the scene of the murder

The remaining defendant in a double murder said Tuesday he had been forced to follow the main perpetrator to the victims’ Nicosia home in April last year but did now know why they were going there and he did not take part in killing the couple.

“I was terrified, stressed, and shocked. I was making up scenarios in my head that in the same way he entered the house in Strovolos, he could enter mine. He threatened me. I knew what he was capable of doing. I could not go to the police. Anyone in my position would not go to the police,” Marios Hadjixenophontos told the Nicosia criminal court.

The defendant told the court of his relationship with Loizos Tzionis, the perpetrator of the murder of Giorgos Hadjigeorgiou, 60, and his 58-year-old wife Dina Sergiou on April 18.

Hadjixenophontos is the last of the four defendants on trial. Tzionis pleaded guilty late in the process and got two consecutive life sentences, his girlfriend Sarah Shams was jailed for four years after she pleaded guilty to lesser charges, as did his stepbrother, Lefteris Solomou, who is doing a six-year stretch.

Testifying under oath, Hadjixenophontos said at around 10.20pm that night he went to the house of Tzionis’ grandfather to sell cannabis. They were sitting in his bedroom, together with Shams, waiting for Solomou who had the money.

Before that day, the defendant said he met Tzionis another five to six times.

He told the court that Tzionis and Shams had used cocaine that night while he and Solomou declined the offer.

Tzionis meanwhile owed Hadjixenophontos some money from before, and when he asked about it he was told they were going to a friend who would give him the cash.

Hadjixenophontos said he refused twice and then Tzionis put a knife he was holding to his throat and told him “you are coming with me.”

Following the use of cocaine, Tzionis was agitated and aggressive, pacing up and down and waving the knife.

The defendant then described how they drove to the house on Zalongou Street where Tzionis climbed onto the second-floor balcony and entered through a bathroom window using a sword.

Five minutes later Tzionis opened the kitchen door and asked him to go inside.

Hadjixenophontos said he saw the couple’s son in the kitchen, arms in the air and scared. He then saw blood on Tzionis’ knees.

With the child locked in the basement, the pair went upstairs to the master bedroom where Hadjixenophontos said he saw two bare legs in a pool of blood.

The couple were found in their bedroom stabbed multiple times. The couple’s son, 15, was not hurt by Tzionis.

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