Nicosia Criminal Court on Monday handed down seven life sentences to Nicos Metaxas for the murder of five women and two children.
In handing down its verdict, the court said “it can be said that the accused carried out a campaign of murder.”
Five of the life sentences are consecutive. Two, which concern the murder of the children killed with their mothers, will run concurrently.
The 35 year old Greek Cypriot army officer had earlier on Monday pleaded guilty to murdering Livia Fiorentina Bunea, 36, and her eight year old daughter Elena Natalya, Maricar Valdez Arquiola, 29, Mary Rose Tibiurco, 38, and her six year old daughter Sierra Granze, Asmita Kahta Mista 30, and Arian Palanas, 28.
The victims were from Romania, the Philippines and Nepal. The murders were committed between September 2016 and August 2018.
In a statement to the court earlier on Monday, a visibly shaken Metaxas apologised for his abhorrent crimes.
“I have committed abhorrent crimes. I acknowledge my crimes. I cannot go back in time. I can help in the investigation. To plead guilty and not burden the Republic of Cyprus any more. I apologise to the families of the victims and to the souls of the victims. And finally to Cyprus society which wonders how one of its members could commit such an act,” he said.
He also apologised to his own family and said he was at the disposal of police for in depth study so that such situations can be avoided in the past.
The case, involving the worst peace-time atrocities against women in Cyprus in memory, has triggered outrage and horror and led to the resignation of the justice minister and sacking of the police chief. Police have come under fire over the way they handled the case when the victims were first reported missing. They have said they have revamped procedures and on Monday new police chief Kypros Michaelides said anyone guilty of dereliction of duty will be held to account.
The first victim was found dead by tourists shooting pictures at a mine shaft in mid-April, which triggered a 68 day investigation and the discovery of the bodies of six more victims.
The last victim discovered, six-year-old Sierra, was found in Memi lake on June 12.
The sentence is the toughest ever imposed by the Cypriot justice system.
Police say Metaxas, a divorced father of two, met the women online.