The remand order against two suspects aged 41 and 44 in the murder of Thanasis Kalogeropoulos in Limassol, was renewed for another eight days on Monday as police presented DNA evidence linking the 41-year-old to a bullet casing from the crime scene, the court heard.
The two suspects appeared in Limassol court on Monday. Kalogeropoulos, 55, had been shot 10 times in an apparent gangland shooting on October 30 which was followed by the killing of Alexis Mavromichalis, aka Alexoui, in Nicosia a day later.
Two others, aged 21 and 22, are already on remand in connection with the Kalogeropoulos killing.
The 21-year-old and the 41-year-old are suspected of being the assassins, the former being the motorcycle passenger seen on CCTV footage after the getaway car was set on fire, and the latter, the driver of the bike.
The 22-year-old suspect meanwhile, is believed to have helped organise the assassination and helped transport the killers to and from the scene, while the 44-year-old is suspected of aiding and abetting the killers before and after the crime.
On Monday, the two older suspects were brought to court under draconian security measures and wearing bulletproof vests, while about 20 police officers were inside the courtroom where the hearing was held. At the same time family members and friends of the victim were waiting for the completion of the process outside the court.
According to the police investigator, the planning of the murder took place in a house in the Larnaca district, which belongs to the 44-year-old. He claims he loaned it to the 41-year-old and had no knowledge of the assassination plot.
However, the investigator told the court that the various claims of the suspect did not seem to correspond to reality. The 44-year-old, he said, was listed as having a rental vehicle and that one day before the murder, this vehicle and a motorcycle, of the same description as those used by the perpetrators, were recorded leaving the Larnaca house and going to Yermosoyia.
The investigator said this was close to the same spot where the perpetrators later burned the vehicle they used in the murder and left the area on the motorcycle.
Police had previously told the court that the 44-year-old, had a meeting with Kalogeropoulos ten days prior to the murder, which could also link him to the case.
Elsewhere, CCTV footage allegedly recorded the 41-year-old’s movements at the older man’s house, both before and after the murder. In addition, during the searches of the house, a sum of money was taken as evidence, as well as mobile phones and clothes, which were found in the garbage and which were the same as those worn by the driver of the motorcycle as per the CCTV footage.
The investigator also said that a bullet casing taken as evidence from the crime scene contained genetic material of the 41-year-old, who, it was noted, did not appear to be cooperating with police.
According to the investigator, there are about 50 depositions yet to be taken in the case while new surveillance footage is also being examined. He told the court this was a time-consuming and difficult process.
The lawyers of the two suspects raised no objection to the renewal of their detention order for another eight days.