Cyprus Mail
Crime Cyprus

Georgian man gets 17 years for Limassol murder  

A Georgian man was jailed for 17 years on Friday after admitting to killing Ernest Leonides, 47, in a restaurant in Limassol in February 2018.

Two other defendants were given lighter sentences related to the crime.

One of the defendants had said during a previous hearing that he was the person who had shot Leonides four times.

He admitted to the crime after the charge was changed from premeditated murder to manslaughter.

The 47-year-old had been the local coordinator of a crime ring, which eliminated him after a disagreement, a court heard two years ago.

Leonides a Greek national of Georgian extraction, was at a restaurant in Germasoyia, Limassol at the time when three masked individuals walked into the tavern while he was having lunch with friends.

Police said at the time he had suffered four gunshot wounds – one to the head and three to his body. It is believed the murder was ordered by a Russian criminal organisation with which Leonides had differences.

The two other defendants, also Georgians, had also pleaded guilty to lesser charges connected to the killing.

One was given 14 months in prison, which he has already served while in custody during the trial.

He is expected to be extradited to Greece where he is sought in connection with fraud, burglary, and theft.

The third defendant received 3.5 years for possession of a firearm and two years for possession of munitions. The two sentences run concurrently.

The three Georgians were caught in the north, together with a fourth person, charges against whom were later dismissed, and were handed over to the authorities in the Republic as part of an agreement between the two sides to exchange criminals.

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