A 42 year old man suspected of killing his estranged wife at her home in Paphos on Monday was remanded in custody for eight days on Friday.
The man, a Syrian national, was arrested on Thursday afternoon at a house in Limassol’s Omonia district, three days after police issued an arrest warrant and released his photograph asking for the public to help track him down.
He denies any involvement in the murder of the 31 year old woman.
Police were notified about his location by 11 other Syrian nationals in the house where he had sought refuge in Limassol, where he used a different name.
But when he was challenged on Thursday, he asked them to help him flee to the Turkish occupied north and told them he had killed his wife ‘for reasons of honour’. Instead, the notified police.
The suspect is expected to participate in a police line-up as police seek testimony from two individuals who reportedly heard him saying he was going to kill his wife.
Police are looking for his mobile phone which initially showed to be deactivated but later registered two phone calls after the victims’ death.
The body of the 31 year old victim, also a Syrian and a mother of seven, was found by a social worker on Monday morning. She had been stabbed to death and police have recovered a kitchen knife they believe is the murder weapon.
Police believe the woman was murdered at around 5 am on Monday morning. Three of five children, all aged under 12, were at the house at the time. The two elder children, both teenagers, are with family in Syria.
In court on Friday, police asked for the suspect – against whom a restraining order for family violence had been issued earlier this month – be remanded in custody. His lawyers did not object to the police request.
Paphos district court judge Christododoulos Christodoulou said that releasing the suspect may adversely impact police investigations and also referred to the testimony cited in court from one of the victim’s children who was reportedly an eye witness to the murder.
Police investigator Michalis Nicolaou told the court that at 9.55 am on Monday, the suspect had telephoned his brother and asked him to look after the children because he was going away. Asked what had happened, the suspect said he wanted to be left alone.
Nicolaou said that three of the children who were at the house at the time of the murder were taken to the suspect’s brother, joining the two others who were there.
He added that on Tuesday police had obtained a video-taped statement from child who said that it was asleep when it woke from the loud voices of the father and mother. The child then said it saw the father stab the mother and then the father took them to a relative’s house. The child also asked to draw the incident and the picture shows the father stabbing the mother, the police officer added.
Nicolaou said that police has testimony from another person who had recently spent a few days with the suspect and at one point, in the presence of another person had said “I’m going to kill her.”
On his arrest, the suspect said “it wasn’t me who killed her.” The other Syrians at the house said that he had gone there on Tuesday and asked to stay until he found a job and a house to rent. None of them knew him and he gave a false name.
But on Thursday one of the men realized that he was a fugitive, alerted the others and then told the suspect they knew who he was. The 42 year old asked for their help to go the Turkish occupied north and confessed saying he had killed the woman for reasons of honour. However, they alerted police.
Nicolaou said investigations were advanced but more needed to be done. He said that 22 statements have been taken and six searches carried out .