Hadjicostis Murder Trial - Defence Attempts to Dismiss Judges
President of the court Charis Solomonides said that the defence doubts his impartiality because he and senior judge Nikos Santis socialised with witness Rea Andronikou. Solomonides gave this information citing the principle of open justice.
As a precedent, defence counsel used a ruling in Malta, saying that both societies are small and everyone knows everyone else.
A decision on the bold - or desperate move - will be made on September 26th.
Four people are on trial for the murder of DIAS media group CEO Andy Hadjicostis. Tassos Krassopoulis; his sister and ex-Sigma TV presenter Elena Skordelli; Andreas Gregoriou; and Gregoris Xenophontos have all pleaded not guilty to the January 11th, 2010 killing in which Hadjicostis was shot twice in the chest as he was getting out of his car to go to his Nicosia home.
The prosecution's case is largely based on a full confession by murder co-conspirator Fanos Hadjigeorgiou, who has been put in the witness protection programme and will not stand trial. Prosecution lawyers allege that Skordelli was angry at Hadjicostis for edging her out of her job as a presenter at Sigma TV, particularly since she is a 21 percent shareholder in the station. She and her brother planned the killing to get rid of Hadjicostis and take over Sigma TV themselves, says the prosecution.
Skordelli, Krassopoulis, Xenophontos and Gregoriou have been held in jail since the beginning of the trial.