A taxi driver from the Famagusta district village of Xylofagou was this morning sentenced to life in prison after a Larnaca Criminal Court found him guilty of the premeditated murder of his sister’s former father-in-law.
Giorgos Andreou, 35, was told by the three-judge panel that the "evidence against him was overwhelming" and he was immediately transported to Nicosia Central Prison to begin his sentence.
Pantelis Antoniou, also a taxi driver, was gunned down in October last year as he played backgammon with a friend on Nissi Avenue in Ayia Napa.
Eyewitnesses had told the court that a pick-up truck pulled up beside the pavement where the men were sitting and the driver, who was identified by another taxi driver, fired two shots at 66-year-old Antoniou before speeding off.
The state pathologist’s report stated that Andreou had suffered lethal wounds to his throat, chest and hands and that his death would have been near instant.
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 had heard that Andreou’s sister was married to the victim’s son until they divorced in 2012. The men reportedly had a long history of animosity while Andreou is said to have threatened the victim prior to the shooting.
“All the evidence and testimonies show clear premeditation on behalf of the defendant”, read a court announcement. “According to legislation, that constitutes life imprisonment.”
Relatives of the victim applauded the decision while Andreou’s mother – who was also watching the proceedings – fainted and was taken by ambulance to Larnaca General Hospital.