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Man who pleaded guilty to Ayia Napa shootings gets 35 years (Updated)

Larnaca courthouse

A 37-year-old from Paphos was jailed for 35 years by the Larnaca-Famagusta criminal court on Tuesday on attempted murder charges in Larnaca and Ayia Napa.

The convicted man, Charalambos Chrysanthou (aka Hamburger), is accused of conspiracy to commit murder, attempted murder, illegal possession and transport of firearms and ammunition, and illegal possession and transport of explosives.

Chrysanthou admitted to all 24 charges brought against him by authorities.

The first attempted murder in Larnaca took place on November 7, 2019, whereas the second one happened on February 16, 2020 in Ayia Napa, where he is suspected of firing 25 rounds with an automatic rifle into a cafe, injuring four people who had no relation with his intended target, businessman Costas Kritikos, who had left the establishment earlier.

According to eyewitnesses, a man entered the café an hour before the attack wearing a black sweatshirt with lines along the sleeves. The man was reported talking to someone on his phone and examining patrons.

An hour later, the man suspected to be Chrysanthou entered the cafe wearing a balaclava and started to shoot at bystanders. After realising that target was not there, he fled the scene and found refuge at the Thalassa Municipal Museum, where police later discovered his weapon in the basement, an M58 automatic rifle.

His movements were recorded by several CCTV present at the café and at the museum.

Police later found the same black sweatshirt with lines when the searched Chrysanthou’s apartment, shortly before arresting him.

During the trial, ‘Hamburger’ admitted having obtained the instructions for the attempted murder and the weapon from an unknown third party. Furthermore he also claimed to have studied the movements of his target for about a month before deciding to act.

As a payment for his actions, Chrysanthou said to have obtained two kilos of cannabis in advance, which he sold for €20,000 to a man he refused to name.

When pronouncing the sentence at the trial, the judge said that “the seriousness of the disputed crimes is highlighted by the long sentences handed down to the accused.”

However, the court also took into account that the accused “fully collaborated with the authorities and disclosed everything he knew about the criminal organisation he was working for.”

A 38-year-old Greek convict in the Central Prisons, Demetris Mamalikopoulos, is the suspected mastermind behind the murder attempts.

Mamalikopoulos is already serving five life sentences for murdering five people in Ayia Napa on June 23, 2012.

The pair were also linked with an attempt against Constantinos Charalambous, 37, aka Mavros, in Larnaca on November 27, 2019.

 



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