Nicosia district court on Saturday remanded eight prisoners following the murder of a 41-year-old Turkish Cypriot inmate at the central prisons.
The suspects, who have been remanded for eight days, will be reportedly held in separate cells.
They were arrested late on Friday as part of police investigating the premeditated murder.
Investigations started after Tansu Cidan was found dead in his cell on Thursday night, carrying multiple injuries.
The autopsy showed his death was caused by bodily injuries, which suggests he was beaten to death. His attackers possibly used a sharp object according to reports.
Authorities identified three individuals from CCTV footage from the wing where Cidan was being housed. They had presented their IDs and were the last people who appear to enter the victim’s cell before he was found dead.
The other five are of Turkish origin, one of whom is considered a prime suspect.
The prison said it is fully cooperating with the police who swiftly arrived at the scene, with officials currently reviewing CCTV footage at the wing.
Cidan had been arrested in April for drugs possession with intent to supply. He was serving a long-term sentence for “multiple crimes”, reported to include eight years for possession of a significant quantity of drugs.
Meanwhile, Alphanews said the man had been attacked repeatedly over the past three days.
But the prison issued a statement noting that upon the latest inspection on Thursday – which took place at 5pm – the guards saw no visible signs of injury on Cidan. It was further stated that Cidan did not alert the guards to any potential issues.
“Around 21:15 when the staff was informed about the incident, the action protocols were activated and the necessary measures were taken,” the announcement said. “The medical officer was immediately called to the scene and at the same time efforts were made to resuscitate him until the arrival of the ambulance that transported the 41-year-old to the hospital.”
Should shortcomings by prison staff be identified then the prison will not hesitate to proceed with suspensions, they added.
Police Chief Stelios Papatheodorou said it currently appears unlikely that there was any involvement from persons outside the prison.
The Nicosia central prisons has been the centre of significant controversy following claims and counterclaims of corruption, rampant drug use – and even murders being orchestrated from behind bars.
Three separate investigations into the prisons have been conducted in recent months, with prison director Anna Aristotelous stating that she wants to move post.
Despite the scandals, Netflix aired a “utopian” depiction of the prison – showing bingo events and portraying a lax atmosphere.