Three men charged with premeditated murder walked free on Friday after the main prosecution witness told Paphos criminal court he would not testify against them, the Cyprus News Agency reported.
The three, aged 34, 41, and 27 faced a number of charges in connection with the murder of Leontios Poyiatzis in July 2021, including conspiracy, premeditated murder, illegal possession of explosives and arson of a vehicle.
Their prosecution was suspended after the witness, aged 26, rescinded under oath an earlier statement to police.
At the previous court hearing, attorney general Giorgos Savvides had ordered an investigation into why the witness had rescinded his testimony. Police were instructed to investigate the reasons for the change of heart and also how his sworn statement had ended up in the hands of one of the defendant’s lawyers.
The court heard that the findings were given to the attorney general and that police had made three arrests.
The body of the 60-year-old victim was found burnt in a car that had been completely destroyed by a fire in the Anarita area, Paphos. The fire was found to have been set maliciously.
The postmortem established that the man had died from gunshot wounds in the abdomen.