An 82-year-old who was jailed for shooting a cable thief in March had an appeal for his sentence to be commuted to a suspended sentence rejected on Friday.

During proceedings at the appeals court, Deputy Attorney-General Savvas Angelides said the sentence handed down “is not manifestly excessive”.

However, he said, the legal service would file no objection should the sentence be suspended, given the man’s age and the health problems he is facing.

Despite this, the court rejected his appeal in a two-to-one verdict.

Speaking to Alpha television after the conclusion of court proceedings, the man’s lawyer Maria Neophytou said she is now awaiting the attorney-general’s position on the matter of a presidential pardon.

President Nikos Christodoulides had in March issued instructions to the legal service to grant the man a pardon, but 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.

The fourth annex of Article 53 of the constitution states that the president or the vice president can “remit, suspend, or commute any sentenced 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.”

With the realities of the Cyprus problem meaning there is no vice president, and the president having made his opinion clear, the 82-year-old’s fate now lies in the hands of Attorney-General George Savvides and his deputy Savvas Angelides.

Deputy government spokesman Yiannis Antoniou had said last month that the attorney-general’s office was blocking the issuing of a pardon.

“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,” he said.

He added that Christodoulides’ intervention “had a different motive” and “arose for humanitarian reasons”.

However, Angelides’ intervention in court on Friday may suggest the legal service has moved on the issue and may now be more willing to consider the matter.

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

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 him in the back.

The thief was initially hospitalised and intubated, but later made a full recovery.