The attorney-general’s office is blocking President Nikos Christodoulides from pardoning an 82-year-old man sentenced to 2.5 years in jail, deputy government spokesman Yiannis Antoniou said on Saturday.

The man, a grandfather, had been sentenced by the Limassol court for shooting an attempted cable thief.

Speaking to CyBC in the morning, Antoniou said that the agreement of the attorney-general and the deputy attorney-general is expected, but, so far, has not been secured.

“The initial reaction of the attorney-general’s office is not in line with the opinion of the president, which is why the president disagrees with this approach of the legal service, which sees the issue in purely legal terms. While the president’s intervention had a different motive, it arose for humanitarian reasons,” he said.

Antoniou added that Nikos Christodoulides would like to see this man released.

On Friday, it had emerged that the 82-year-old had been taken to hospital with chest pains and shortness of breath.

The shooting had taken place in the Limassol village of Alassa last June. The 82-year-old exited his house during a power outage to check the main supply panel and took a hunting rifle and a cartridge with him for protection.

He then realised that someone else was on his property and stealing an electric cable. He then approached the perpetrator and shouted at him, before firing a shot, which hit him in the back.

His lawyer Maria Neophytou had said on Thursday that the man had filed reports to police on four separate occasions regarding thefts and that he lived “in genuine fear” of thieves and trespassers on his property.

“He was scared. We are talking about an elderly gentleman with health problems who lives alone in an isolated area,” she said.

Asked about the man he shot, Neophytou said “he is fine. He had no lasting health problems. This was mentioned in court.”

She added that her client “did not intend to kill him. He just wanted to scare him.”