The appeals court on Tuesday reserved its decision over an 82-year-old grandfather jailed for shooting a man who was attempting to steal electricity cables.

The pensioner’s lawyer Maria Neophytou explained that he is still under observation at the Limassol general hospital, and also produced medical records regarding doctors’ instructions for further monitoring.

She also said he has been fitted with a heart monitor.

The court asked why the man is being held in Limassol rather than at the Central prison in Nicosia, and Neophytou clarified that it was not the 82-year-old’s decision.

She said it was in fact because it was perceived to be better for him to remain in Limassol as it is in closer proximity to the doctors who have experience dealing with his conditions.

The man was sentenced to two and a half years behind bars in March after having been convicted of intending to cause serious bodily harm and carrying and using a firearm.

He had initially faced charges of attempted murder but was eventually acquitted of that charge with the approval of the attorney-general. Subsequently, he pleaded guilty to the charges for which he was sentenced.

The initial court decision noted that despite the mitigating factors, including the man’s failing health and his clean criminal record, it “must not send the wrong message to would-be offenders,” and that a more lenient sentence “would not serve the needs of the law.”

President Nikos Christodoulides then issued instructions to the legal service to issue him a pardon, but Attorney-general George Savvides vetoed that decision.

The intricacies of the Republic of Cyprus’ constitution mean the final decision regarding a pardon cannot be taken unanimously by the President but must be done in tandem with the legal service, and with the agreement thereof.

It states that the President or the Vice President can “remit, suspend, or commute any sentence passed by a court in the Republic.”

However, it stipulates that this can only be done “on the unanimous recommendation of the attorney-general and the deputy attorney-general.”

Deputy government spokesman Yiannis Antoniou said at the time that “the initial reaction of the attorney-general’s office is not in line with the opinion of the president.”

He added that “the president disagrees with this approach of the legal service, which sees the issue in purely legal terms … The president’s intervention had a different motive, it arose for humanitarian reasons.”

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 winding an electric wire. He then approached the perpetrator and shouted at him, before firing a shot, which hit the thief in the back.

The thief was initially hospitalised but made a full recovery.