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Man pleads not guilty to manslaughter over road death

Relatives of Panayiotis Christophorou outside court on Wednesday (CNA)

A 50-year-old man who was involved in a fatal road accident last November that led to the death of Panayiotis Christophorou, 27, pleaded not guilty to manslaughter at Limassol criminal court on Wednesday.

Christophorou, a father of one, was killed on the Limassol to Nicosia motorway last November near the exit to Moutayiaka after the 50-year-old’s SUV slammed into the rear of his vehicle, compressing it to about half its original size. Police had said the 27-year-old was heading towards Limassol when his car was struck violently from the back. He died instantly.

It later emerged the 50-year-old, who is from Russia, was intoxicated and had also taken sleeping pills.

His trial was to begin on March 31, but it was postponed until Wednesday due to the measures against the spread of coronavirus.

In total five charges were read to him on Wednesday. He pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and admitted guilt to the rest concerning reckless driving, driving under the influence of alcohol and failing to stop at a red light.

Christophorou’s family and friends gathered at the court during the procedure wearing t-shirts with the 27-year-old’s photo on them and with a banner saying, ‘Justice for Panayiotis’.

The court will resume on June 29. Until then, the 50-year-old will remain in custody at the central prisons.

 

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