A day after saying he wanted to change his not guilty plea, the main defendant in the brutal murder of a school teacher and his wife in Strovolos in April last year, today asked Nicosia Criminal Court for more time to consult with his lawyer.
Loizos Tzionis had initially confessed to stabbing Yiorgos Hadjigeorghiou and Dina Sergiou to death at their home during what police believe was a botched robbery. He later withdrew the confession and pleaded not guilty.
Yesterday, he took the court and his lawyer by surprise when he said he wanted to change his plea. Proceedings were adjourned to today, to give him time to discuss the issue with his lawyer.
But in court today, Tzionis said he needed more time to discuss a document prepared by the prosecution and handed over to the defendant’s lawyer Andreas Anastasiou.
Counsel for the prosecution Polina Efthyvoulou said she did not understand why time was needed to discuss the document which set out the facts of the case. She added that the prosecution was ready for any discussions to be held today and for proceedings to resume.
Asked by the judge whether the defendant was withdrawing his request to change his plea, the defence lawyer said that his client needed more time.
Tzionis said he needed time to think because “there are gaps in the documents and I want clarification about the traps.”
He added that there was no place in court to talk to his lawyer.
The court decided to adjourn the case until Monday.
Also on trial for the murder are his half brother Lefteris Solomou and Marios Hadjixenophontos.
The three face seven charges including premeditated murder, conspiracy to commit a crime, robbery, burglary, abduction and carrying weapons.
Tzionis had initially admitted to all the charges except the burglary saying that the house was open. He then changed his plea, saying he was innocent on all charges.
His former girl friend Sara Siams is serving a four year sentence after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit a robbery. She is expected to appear as a witness for the prosecution in mid-July.
Solomou and Hadjixenophontos have both pleaded not guilty.