A 35-year-old man was yesterday remanded for eight days in custody in connection with the drive-by killing of a taxi driver in the centre of Ayia Napa.
Speaking during the remand hearing, case investigator George Foukaris said Giorgos Andreou was arrested at his home in Xylophagou on Tuesday - the day of the murder - following testimony from an eyewitness who claims to know him personally and says he recognised him as the shooter.
Victim Pantelis Antoniou, 66, was gunned down at around 12:45pm as he played backgammon with the eyewitness outside the taxi office they both worked in.
Eyewitnesses said a pick-up truck pulled up beside the pavement where the men were sitting and the driver fired two shots at Antoniou before speeding off.
After searching the suspect’s home police seized three hunting shotguns, one of which is registered to Andreou and the other two to his father.
The court heard that Andreou’s sister was married to the victim’s son until they divorced last year.
The men reportedly had a long history of animosity while Andreou is said to have recently threatened the victim.
Foukaris added that a number of shotguns shells were seized from Andreou’s house which contain the same type of pellets found at the crime scene and in the victim.
A pending ballistic test will prove whether the pellets were fired from one of the seized shotguns.
Andreou’s vehicle – a green pick-up truck – was also seized and is to undergo forensic examination.
The suspect’s lawyer made no objection to the remand but asked the judge to give his client fewer days. The request was denied.
Andreou has denied any involvement in the murder but claims he was enjoying a drive in Ayia Napa at the time of the shooting.
According to the results the autopsy conducted by state pathologists Sofoclis Sofocleous and Nicolas Charalambous the victim was shot twice with a hunting shotgun.
He suffered lethal wounds to his throat, chest and hands and his death would have been near instant.