Pericleous murder trial on June 6 without body

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Cyprus Police have filed the alleged murder case of 31-year-old Angelos Pericleous with the Nicosia Criminal Court, despite not finding the victim’s body or a murder weapon.

Premeditated murder charges have been brought against a 25-year-old, who is the main suspect in the case, while his 71-year-old uncle and his 59-year-old mother face charges of aiding and abetting a criminal.

The trial will begin on June 6.

All three were remanded in custody until May 12, when the court will decide whether to set free the main suspect’s uncle and mother on bail.

In addition to premeditated murder, the 25-year-old will also face charges of conspiracy to commit a crime, abduction with intent to commit murder, vehicle arson, illegal possession and use of firearm and explosives.

The uncle faces charges of conspiracy to commit a crime and vehicle arson, while the mother faces the charge of aiding and abetting a criminal.

According to police, she is alleged to have provided a false alibi for her son during the time of the victim’s disappearance.

In a written testimony, the 71-year-old admitted to helping his nephew burn Pericleous’ vehicle near a shooting range in Palaiometocho, Nicosia. He had also told officers that his nephew had confided in him that he had shot and killed the 31-year-old before burying him.

A 39-year-old man who was under arrest in connection to the case was released without charges, as he has turned witness for the prosecution.

Suspect remains silent

The case will be presented in court without a body or murder weapon, with the main suspect exercising his right to remain silent since the day he was arrested, some three weeks ago.

In comments to Cyprus News Agency (CNA), police spokesperson Christos Andreou said that the case has been reviewed by the legal service, which believes the case has merits to be presented in court.

“They decided that, even without direct statements made by the 25-year-old, there is enough evidence to take the case to the Criminal Court,” he said.

Regarding the search for the body, Andreou said that the investigations continue at an accelerated pace, without ruling out further information about the whereabouts of the body emerging during the trial.

The 25-year-old was initially arrested as the main suspect in the disappearance of Angelos Pericleous, 31, whose torched vehicle was found in rural Nicosia. The main suspect was remanded in custody on suspicion of kidnap with the intent to murder.

He was later handed murder charges, after police heard the suspect’s uncle testify that his nephew had admitted having killed 31-year-old.

Pericleous has been missing since 20 April when he was last seen leaving his house with the 25-year-old main suspect.

The suspect had been described as a friend of the victim, but additional reports said they were involved in a heated argument prior to the disappearance, with the 25-year-old claiming Pericleous had beaten him up.

He also reported on 14 March that Pericleous had stolen €100,000 from him, as well as a Rolex watch and three mobile phones.

A few days later, he withdrew the complaint after the two men came to an understanding.

The suspect is well known to authorities as he had been extradited to the US, where he spent time in prison for a series of cybercrimes.