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Mavromichalis remanded in attempted murder probe

Alexis Mavromichalis, aka 'Alexoui, being taken away by police after a court appearance in 2014

A 42-year-old man was remanded in custody for eight days on Tuesday in connection with an underworld murder attempt that took place in Nicosia in 2017.

A second man, 41, also appeared in court as a suspect in the same case.

Police arrested Alexis Mavromichalis, aka Alexoui, on Monday evening on suspicion of involvement in the attempted murder of Panayiotis Panayiotou that took place late in the afternoon of November 20, 2017.

Together with Mavromichalis, police are also holding Slovakian national Miroslav Balazovjech, aka Dydi Rudolf, who is currently on trial for a separate but similar case.

Police said an arrest warrant has also been issued for a third suspect. Mavromichalis and Rudolf deny any involvement in the November 20 shooting.

Panayiotou, aka Glykas, was shot five times as he was entering the apartment building where he lived in Nicosia at around 7pm.

Four shots struck him, and one hit a laptop he was holding.

He later gave police a description of his shooter but did not provide any other details. On Monday, the court heard, Panayiotou went to police and identified Rudolf as the shooter.

Pressed by the defence, the police investigator told the court Panayiotou had explained to them why he did not name the suspect at the time.

Asked whether Panayiotou was a gang member, the investigator said the case related to a turf war between underworld factions.

Whether Panayiotou is against or with the first suspect, Mavromichalis, that would depend on the season, the investigator said.

The investigator declined to respond whether the third suspect wanted in the case was currently held by Turkish Cypriots in the north.

It is however, believed that the third man is 41-year-old Iosif Iosif, aka Sifis, who had fled to the north early last year to escape arrest in connection with the attempted murder of Nicos Rodotheou in November 2018.

Iosif was jailed in the north for five years for possession of two 9mm pistols, ammunition, and illegal entry.

Rudolf is currently on trial for the attempt against Rodotheou. He too was arrested in the north, holed up in a house in Kyrenia.

He did prison time in the north for possession of firearms and was handed over in July last year to face justice in the Republic.

Nicos is the brother of Andros Rodotheou who was gunned down while at a friend’s house at the village of Gerasa, Limassol, in April 2018.

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