By Nikolaos Prakas and Sarah Ktisti
Police in Paphos are investigating the pre-meditated murder of a 36-year-old man who died in hospital late on Wednesday due to injuries sustained when a group of men broke into his home in Paphos and beat him.
The 36-year-old from Syria, identified as Mohammed Ashar Ali, died in hospital late on Wednesday night in the critical care unit of Nicosia General, where he was intubated, following surgery on his skull and a blood vessel in his brain, after the injuries he sustained in the attack at his home on September 27.
Detectives on Thursday said they are now investigating a case of premeditated murder instead of attempted murder, since it appears that a group of people broke into the victim’s apartment in the centre of Paphos at 1.30am on September 27. The victim was taken to Paphos hospital and later transferred to Nicosia general.
In statements to reporters on Thursday, police spokesman Christos Andreou said that two individuals, aged 27 and 21 were now facing charges of premeditated murder. “The two have been brought before the court for a detention order. They have chosen silence, but we are proceeding with the investigation to solve the case,” Andreou said.
He said the motive for the murder has not yet been clarified, “there is a direction, but we have to wait for the investigations to be completed because there may be other people involved in the case,” he said.
Meanwhile, Paphos District Court said that on Friday it will decide whether to renew the detention of the two suspects for another eight days as requested by police.
Evidence proving, according to the police, the involvement of the two young men, also from Syria, in the murder of their compatriot was presented to the court by investigator, Paphos police sergeant Andreas Tsekouras.
According to Tsekouras, the perpetrators of the attack were five in total and wore masks.
He added that shortly before losing consciousness, the victim named the 27-year-old suspect as the person behind the attack. However, the 27-year-old, according to police, was allegedly seen at a post office in Limassol at the time and sought to have his presence recorded by the shop’s CCTV.
According to testimony, the 27-year-old allegedly met with the second suspect immediately after the attack and they instructed the other members of the group to take the stolen vehicle used to transport them to the village of Kili where it was found the day after.
After carrying out an investigation at the injured man’s home, police said they found incriminating evidence against the 27-year-old, who was arrested on the same day. On Wednesday, they arrested the 21-year-old following evidence that emerged against him during the investigation.