Search for body in puzzling murder case

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Police believe they have unearthed evidence linked to the alleged murder case of 31-year-old Angelos Pericleous, who has been missing for a month.

Pointers to the location of Pericleous’ body were stepped up on Tuesday, with officers locating gun casings and tools believed to have been used in his murder.

The findings emerged on Tuesday as a 25-member team of police officers and civil defence members widened their search across Mari, Vasiliko and Governor’s Beach in Limassol. In this area, Pericleous is believed to have been murdered.

Sniffer dogs and drones were used to sweep the area.

Limassol Deputy CID chief Costas Michael told the Cyprus News Agency that “some objects have been detected that appear to be connected to the investigation.”

As reported, the items were discovered inside an old fridge in an area where electrical items are discarded.

Michael noted that, so far, no traces of the body have been found.

Police have been searching for evidence since the disappearance of Pericleous, who is believed to have been murdered by a 25-year-old known to authorities for a series of cybercrimes.

Last week, Cyprus Police filed the murder case of Angelos Pericleous with the Nicosia Criminal Court, despite not finding the victim’s body or a murder weapon.

So far, the prosecution’s case relies on hearsay witnesses, such as the suspect’s uncle, according to which he had confessed to shooting Pericleous several times and then burying the body.

Pericleous, 31, was reported missing on April 20.

The next day, his car was found torched near a shooting range in Palaiometocho, a village in Nicosia.

Prosecution

Premeditated murder charges were filed against a 25-year-old, 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.

In addition to premeditated murder, the 25-year-old will also face charges of conspiracy to commit a crime, kidnapping with intent to commit murder, vehicle arson, and illegal possession and use of a 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 allegedly provided a false alibi for her son at the time of the victim’s disappearance.

In a written statement, the 71-year-old admitted 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 under arrest in connection to the case was released without charges, as he has turned witness for the prosecution.

The main suspect had initially been arrested on arson charges and kidnapping with the intent of murder.

Following his uncle’s testimony, premeditated murder charges were added.

The suspect was described as a friend of the victim, but additional reports said they were involved in a heated argument before 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 hacking.