Reuters STEFANOS KOURATZIS
Cypriot police announced that a Syrian detainee will be brought to trial for the murder of two Russian and Syrian women whose bodies were found in a mountainous village in the center of the island.
The 32-year-old suspect, whose identity was not revealed by the police, was initially arrested on charges of kidnapping the two women, before later helping the police locate their bodies after a days-long search.
According to the Cyprus News Agency, the two victims are Maria Gazibagandova, 33, from the Russian Republic of Dagestan, and Hayat Al-Raisi, 43, from Syria.
He reported the missing of the two women who were reported by Cypriot media as having come to the island for tourism on November 17 last.
“The police used every means available to locate them, but if you look at the ground, the depth and the surface, obviously it was impossible to find them without a sign from him,” Police Chief Stelio Papatiodoro told reporters.
“Unfortunately, the police’s fears and suspicions were confirmed,” he added.
According to the police, he shot the two women on the same day they went missing.
Papatiodoro indicated that “according to the suspect, he committed the crime alone, and according to his statements, he shot them with a hunting rifle,” without revealing his motives.
Investigators said that the suspect, who was arrested last week, was able to reach the mountain house in Troodos in central Cyprus, where blood belonging to one of the two victims was found.
He is expected to appear in court Monday on charges of premeditated murder.
In 2021, the Cypriot police faced accusations of neglect and racism after the disappearance of seven women and children from the Philippines, Romania and Nepal who were victims of a serial killer between 2016 and 2018.