Notorious former convict Andreas Onoufriou was yesterday remanded for eight days in police custody on suspicion of attempted murder along with two other suspects who are facing lesser charges of adding and abetting a fugitive.
Onoufriou had been on the run for nearly week after opening fire on police officers attempting to execute a search warrant on his Limassol flat based on information he had in his possession a G3 military-issued assault riffle and cash from a string of recent bank robberies.
The 63-year-old, who was representing himself, interrupted the hearing before the Larnaca District Court several times saying he was not able to read a police report after having his glasses confiscated.
He claimed to have been assaulted by police following his arrest and denied accusations that he attempted to use his four-year-old son as a human shield during the police operation to apprehend him in Larnaca on Tuesday.
“Everything the police have said about me is a lie. I didn’t harm anyone I just wanted to see my child.”
Commenting on his arrest Onoufriou said he fell to the ground when he saw officers approaching him and attempted to shield his child from harms way.
The suspect, rested by Anti Terror Unit officers outside a house in Layia village, claimed police opened fire on him as he was holding his four year old son, putting the child in great danger. He further denied that he shot at officers during the operation and in the raid on his flat last week.
Speaking before the court, case investigator Soteris Zachariou said Onoufriou fired three shots at police from a G3 rifle during a police raid on his Limassol home on April 24 and another three shots during his arrest.
A 63-year-old man who is the owner of the house where Onoufriou appears to have been hiding was also remanded for four days in custody.
The suspect – an acquaintance of Onoufriou – said he was unaware the fugitive was hiding in his house.
A 57-year-old man who is the owner of a shotgun seized from the house Onoufriou was hiding was remanded for three days in custody. He claimed he gave Onoufriou the gun last month to fix after the firing pin malfunctioned.
Speaking to the media after the hearing, police spokesman Andreas Angelides said an investigation is underway to determine if Onoufriou was involved in other crimes prior to arrest.
“A separate probe is being conducted to find out exactly how he managed to escape from the officers during the raid on his home,” said Angelides adding that further arrests in the case are likely.
Onfriou’s son is currently in the care of the Social Services. Commissioner for Children’s’ Rights Leda Koursoumba said Onoufriou should also face charges for putting his son in danger during his week on the run.