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Four get life sentence for murder of Cyprus publisher

12 June, 2013

Four people charged with the conspiracy to murder Cypriot publisher Antis Hadjicostis three years ago were handed down life sentences by the Nicosia Assizes Court Thursday amid tension and scuffles in the court room.
Tasos Krasopoulis and his sister Elena Skordeli Krasopouli were found to have masterminded the murder on January 11, 2010, in order to take control of the Dias publishing house and the Sigma television channel, in which they held a minority share.
Hearing the sentences, some of their relatives attacked a reporter from another television station who was also in the room, packed with media, relatives of both sides and police, according to the Cyprus News Agency.
Skordeli broke down in tears and was rushed away under tight police guard, other reports said.
Andreas Georgiou was said to have arranged the contracted killing and coordinated the attack, while Gregoris Xenophontos pulled the trigger of the hunting rifle at point blank. The weapon was never found.
Xenophontos was the passenger on a motorcycle driven by Fanos Hadjigeorgiou who turned witness for the prosecution and is being held in protective custody by the police.
A life sentence in Cyprus equals 20 years. The four are eligible for parole review in 12 years. They have already been held for three and a half years.