Cyprus Mail

Man who shot sister also suspected of tampering with her car brakes

Harpas being led into court for a hearing

A 23-year-old man who shot and killed his sister, 21, with his army issue assault rifle is also suspected of tampering with the brakes of her car before the May 5 incident at the village of Klavdia, in the district of Larnaca.

Elias Harpa, who was remanded in custody for a further eight days on Thursday, claims he had shot his sister, Maria Harpa, by accident. The two were in the sitting room of their house at the time.

He appeared in court on Thursday wearing a bulletproof vest, as police uncovered new evidence concerning his relationship with his sister.

Investigators discovered that the front brake lines on his sister’s car had been severed using a cutter. The suspect reportedly admitted to cutting the brake lines, claiming he did so after a fight with his sister during which she had let the air out of the tyres of his car.

But he denied wanting to kill his sister. Police reportedly confirmed that he had been to a petrol station to refill his tyres.

Initially, the suspect said he had been cleaning his weapon after it had jammed during a live fire exercise that day at the army unit where he is a reservist.

The suspect claimed that his unit’s gunsmith advised him to clean it when he returned home.

He said while cleaning the weapon, it went off with the round hitting his sister in the head.

His claims about the exercise were quickly refuted by his unit whose commander said there was no exercise on May 5 and the last time reservists had a live fire exercise was in May 2019.

The suspect admitted to lying to police, claiming he was afraid of being arrested. He said that he told the same lie to his mother earlier to avoid going to the farm with her to work, reports said.

The drama unfolded on the day of Maria’s birthday. She was two months pregnant and her fiancé had proposed.


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