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Cyprus TV star trial: Hadjicostis neighbour recounts seeing hooded man

A NEIGHBOUR of slain media boss Andis Hadjicostis saw a man leaving the area where his was shot, wielding a cylindrical object shortly before hearing the victims’ wife screaming over his lifeless body, a court heard yesterday.
Michalis Koursaros, a neighbour of Hadjicostis told the Nicosia Assizes court that he was in his living room when he heart two gun shots.
He said he opened the window and saw a person, wielding a cylindrical object measuring some 40 centimetres, running down the street.
Hadjicostis, 42, was shot from close range outside his Engomi home on January 11 after just getting home from work after 9pm. It is believed the killer used a sawn-off shotgun.
Authorities have charged television presenter Elena Skordelli, 42, her 37-year-old brother Tasos Krasopoulis, and meat supplier Andreas Gregoriou, with the premeditated murder of the Sigma boss. They all deny the charges.
The court heard that the neighbour shouted at the hooded man: “I saw you,” to which he turned round instantly without however Koursaros being able to see his face.
Koursaros then heard Hadjicostis’ wife Efi screaming over his body.
The witness said he did not hear the engine of any vehicle leaving the area.
Police believe the shooters escaped on a motorcycle.
Skordelli’s defence lawyer showed the witness a cylindrical map case, asking whether it looked like the object the man was holding on January 11.
Koursaros said it did, after which the case was admitted as evidence.
The man suspected as being the shooter, Gregoris Xenofontos has escaped abroad and remains at large.
A fifth person involved in the case, Theophanis Hadjigeorgiou was acquitted of all charges and entered into a witness protection programme after agreeing to testify against the others.
A tour operator yesterday testified that he had issued tickets for Hadjigeorgiou and his wife to fly to Moldova.
Savvas Papademetriou told the court that he took a call from the suspect on January 14, telling him he wanted to fly out as soon as possible – either the same day or next morning.
Tickets were issued on the same day for the couple to travel through Hungary.
The tickets, were paid by the suspect in cash, and had February 7, 2010 as the return date.
Under cross-examination, Papademetriou said the suspect had booked tickets for Moldova in July, but he then cancelled.
The three-member court asked the two sides to expedite the procedure by agreeing on witnesses who did not have to testify before it.
After consultations the two sides agreed to remove 30 witnesses from the list of over 100. The trial continues today.
(source: cyprus-mail)

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