LARNACA -- A 33-year-old Georgian man accused killing his estranged wife in Famagusta in 2012 on Friday answered not guilty to charges of premeditated murder and arson before the Larnaca Criminal Court.
The Assizes also heard testimony from Spyros Athanasiou, the first police officer to arrive at the crime scene.
The case was reopened in early March after new evidence from a recent forensic inquiry in Greece pointed towards foul play.
Greek national Christina Kalaitzidou, 30, was found dead on her bed on March 16, 2012 by firemen and police officers who were notified by neighbours after a fire broke out at her flat in Dherynia.
State pathologist Eleni Antoniou, who carried out the post mortem at the time, said there were no signs of foul play at the scene and concluded that the victim most likely died of smoke inhalation.
However, a new inquiry launched in Greece after the victim’s parents questioned whether their daughter’s death was an accident, showed that there were no traces of smoke in the victim’s lungs leading to the conclusion that her death was due to asphyxiation via strangulation. The trial is set to continue on May 20.