Cyprus Internet Directory Jobs In Cyprus
  Cyprus Internet Directory Search       
Google Search
  
Cyprus Internet Directory Search
  
Cyprus Comming Events    Cyprus 
Events 
   
Cyprus News Articles    Cyprus News 
and Articles
   
Cyprus Guide    e Guide
to Cyprus
  
Quick Links


By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
Read More

SOME 10 days ago, foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides raised expectations by announcing the possibility of a deal with Turkey for the opening of the fenced off area of Famagusta, for the return of its inhabitants. In exchange the Cyprus government would agree to the opening of Tymbou airport to direct flights. ...
Read More

By George Psyllides PRIVATE auditors have expressed doubt the electricity authority (EAC) could be considered a going concern and have asked its board to draft a credible plan to tackle the problem, according to the auditor-general’s 2012 report on the semi-state company. Among other issues, ...
Read More

  
Cyprus Internet Directory [ ‘I came to tell the truth’ ]

‘I came to tell the truth’

MARTHA Ioannou, 47, yesterday tried to convince Nicosia’s Assize Court that she had changed her plea to guilty in an ongoing drugs trial after she had allegedly been threatened by the brother of her former co-defendant, who is a convicted felon.

Keeping her eyes fixed on the panel of three judges the woman said she had come to court to “tell the truth and nothing but the truth” and that her plea-change and decision to testify for the prosecution was in no way related to promises from the Drug Law Enforcement Unit (DLEU) that she would get off with a lesser sentence.

Although the defence pointed out that Ioannou had told police the threats against her and her family had been made a good 10 months earlier, and not prior to her plea change, the 47-year-old stuck to her story.

As the lengthy hearing unfolded, the defence lawyer deftly picked through Ioannou’s testimony for the prosecution and compared it to the police statement she had given at the time of her arrest. A number of facts were missing from her written statement then, compared to her court testimony. Nevertheless Ioannou claimed her original police statement had only focused on the “essence of the case, not the details”.

Ioannou’s credibility was further called into question when she contradicted statements she’d made in February during a trial-within-a-trial. The defence repeatedly referred back to the statements she had made in court then and asked whether she recalled what she had said. Some statements she appeared to remember, but not others. Also, at times, she almost appeared to be stalling when she claimed not to understand a specific question.

The trial-within-a-trial earlier this year had taken place to determine whether the police statement Ioannou had given in 2008 following her arrest was done so willingly. The court ruled that it had been and it was accepted into evidence. The 47-year-old later changed her plea to guilty and was sentenced.

Ioannou’s testimony yesterday was given as part of an ongoing trial into a drugs bust in April 2008 when she, along with a 40-year-old woman and the latter’s 30-year-old Indian husband, were arrested crossing back from the occupied areas with nearly a kilo of heroin. The younger woman’s 11-year-old daughter was with the trio at the time.

The narcotics, which were divided into two packages, were strapped to Ioannou’s chest and abdomen.

Although all three initially pleaded not guilty, Ioannou changed her plea earlier this year and was sentenced to three and a half years imprisonment.

Both current defendants, the younger woman and her Indian husband, remained impassive throughout Ioannou’s testimony, and neither Ioannou, nor the 40-year-old glanced at each other once, highlighting an obvious rift between the former close friends. As Ioannou’s tinny voice filled the courtroom, the 40-year-old defendant kept her eyes fixed ahead. Sometimes the latter appeared lost in thought.

The female defendant’s 46-year-old brother, who had been involved with Ioannou for seven years, was also in court. His 30-year-old sister, whose jaw remained set throughout the proceeding, sat next to him and more than once sighed audibly, indicating her apparent frustration with Ioannou’s testimony.

The defence argued the sole purpose of Ioannou’s decision to testify for the prosecution had been to secure entry into the witness protection programme and to carry out her sentence at a secure residence as opposed to the Central Prisons.

Ioannou repeatedly denied this assertion.

The defence also said senior officers of the DLEU had promised to help her escape a jail sentence if she co-operated. “No I wasn’t influenced. I realised I was in serious trouble and I was trying to protect myself,” she said.

Ioannou also said she had learned her 40-year-old former alleged associate had plans to “dump everything on me” and “had said I was the brains behind everything”.

She also reiterated the younger woman’s brother, Antonis Prokopiou Kitas, who was in jail serving two life sentences for the rape and murder of two women in 1993, had made threats on her life and that of her children.

At times Ioannou appeared to become indignant as she urged the court to believe her side of the story. She said the trio had gone to the occupied areas where they had met a Turkish Cypriot man who had taken the two women to Kyrenia to pick up the drugs while the child stayed behind in occupied Nicosia with her stepfather. She also said the meeting had been arranged at the behest of Kitas and that the pair had talked the night before. The foursome was stopped and arrested after crossing the checkpoint on foot, she said.

The defence said Ioannou’s account was a “fabrication of her own imagination” and that neither of the current defendants was in a position to know how she had taken possession of the drugs. He also said the Kyrenia trip had never happened and that the reason for their visit to the occupied areas that day was to go clothes shopping. He said Ioannou had gone to the toilet alone twice when the four stopped for lunch before complaining of stomach pains and terminating their day trip early. Ioannou denied the defence’s version of events.

The trial continues today.






(Source: Cyprus Mail)
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2008 Please contact Cyprus Mail for the copyright terms of this article.



Article Options

Email to a friend Email To A Friend     Print Article Print Article     Add Article To Favorites Add Article To Favorites




  

Other Related Articles


Cyprus News Article Submission

If you have an article and you wish to submit it to our database please send us an email. In your email subject quote "Article Submission" and attach the article to the email. To email us Click Here

Cyprus Holiday Villas-Investment Properties

A wide range of holiday villas, investment properties, building plots and apartments in Cyprus for sale by owner. Save money on your holiday villa in Cyprus and enjoy the holiday feeling for ever.