Cyprus Mail

Remand for two suspects in suspected gangland hit

The scene at the court on Thursday (CNA)

Two Famagusta men were remanded in custody for eight days on Thursday on suspicion of killing a 29-year-old on June 25 in what appears to be a gangland hit.

The pair, 40 and 29, were arrested on Wednesday after police collected enough evidence that appears to link them with the incident.

Panayiotis Kallitsionis, aka Valentinos, 29, was gunned down outside his father’s house in Ormidhia at around 11pm on June 25.

He was standing on the veranda after saying goodbye to a friend when he was shot by a gunman who was hiding behind an oven.

The court heard Kallitsionis suffered three gunshot wounds to the right of his thorax. Police said they found three spent large calibre cartridges, which had been fired with a pump-action shotgun.

East of the spot where the cartridges were found, investigators found shoe prints in the path believed to have been used by the shooter to flee the scene.

The prints continued north-east of the house before stopping at a dirt road leading to a large farming area.

At the location, police found the tyre tracks made by a large motorcycle believed to have been used by the perpetrators. The tracks indicated that the front and rear wheels of the bike were of a different type.

A witness had told police that a few minutes after the shots, he heard a large motorcycle leaving the area at speed.

Police were immediately led to the two suspects who were summoned the next day to Famagusta CID for questioning.

The pair denied any involvement, saying that they were together at the 40-year-old’s in Vryssoules at the time.

The 40-year-old said he was at home since 6.30pm. The second suspect said he arrived two hours later.

The suspects claimed that at around 11.30pm on June 25 they learned of the shooting from a friend who called them. Following the call, the suspects went to the caller’s home in Ayia Napa.

During the investigation, officers noticed that a neighbouring house to the 40-year-old’s had security cameras, which had recorded footage that may prove vital for the case.

The footage showed the arrival of the 29-year-old at 8.21pm on June 25. The suspect parked his car outside the 40-year-old’s house, removed a backpack, a motorcycle helmet, and a plastic bag from the boot, and entered the home’s garage.

At around 9.25pm, two individuals wearing helmets exited the garage on a large black motorcycle with a luggage box at the back.

Police said based on the body type, it appeared that the 40-year-old was driving while the second suspect was riding pillion.

The suspects next appear in the footage nine minutes after midnight, returning to the 40-year-old’s home on foot and without helmets.

The 40-year-old is then seen moving cautiously outside the garage with a flashlight in his mouth and holding an unknown object, which he carried to an unknown location outside the home’s fence.

He returns shortly afterwards without the object. Twenty-five minutes after midnight the two are seen coming out of the house, getting into the 29-year-old’s car and leaving the area.

Police said the 40-year-old is the registered owner of a large motorcycle, which had been declared to the transport department as being immobilised on June 11.

On June 28, police searched the suspect’s home but could not find the motorcycle. On July 1, the 40-year-old told investigators that he had borrowed the motorcycle from a friend, but he did not use it because of mechanical problems.

He claimed he took it for repairs last week to a shop in Larnaca. Police found the bike at the shop in question but without its registration plates.

Further investigation found that the motorcycle was taken to the shop on June 29 for service and a tyre change but it did not have any mechanical problems.

The motorcycle in question had a luggage box inside of which police found a black helmet, which was seized.

Police told the court that the tyres – both front and rear — could have left the tracks found at the scene.

The two were arrested on Wednesday lunchtime with police finding three mobile phones in the 29-year-old’s possession.

Officers later searched his home in Paralimni where they found a black helmet, a black hood, and five mobile phones.

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