The Nicosia criminal court acquitted two defendants of attempted murder on Friday, after finding the main prosecution witness unreliable.

Alexis Mavromichalis, aka Alexoui, 42, and Slovakian national Miroslav Balazovjech, aka Dydi Rudolf, 41, were unanimously acquitted in the attempt against Panayiotis Panayiotou, aka Glykas, in Nicosia on November 20, 2017.

The pair had been arrested on January 27, 2020.

Panayiotou was shot five times as he was entering the apartment building where he lived in Nicosia at around 7pm.

Four shots struck him, and one hit a laptop he was holding.

Panayiotou initially pointed at others as the perpetrators but in January 2020, he identified Rudolf as the shooter Mavromichalis and another man, 42-year-old Iosif Iosif, aka Sifis, as the instigators.

The defence had argued from the onset that the case was a fiasco, attributing Panayiotou’s testimony to ulterior motives and vengeful behaviour.

Lawyers said all five of his statements to police had contradictions.

Panayiotou said he had not spoken out in 2017 because he was pressured. He had also named two witnesses who did not corroborate his claims and were not used as prosecution witnesses.

He also accused police officers of corruption, accusing them of writing down different things to protect Mavromichalis.