POLICE in Paphos arrested a 39-year-old from Larnaca yesterday in connection with a murder ten years ago in Paphos.

According to Paphos police, 48-year-old taxi-driver Charalambos Pericleous from the village of Salamiou was murdered in August 2003 near Tsada. The 39-year-old, who has not been named, is being held in a Paphos holding cell until he is brought before Paphos district court later today.

Recent DNA checks on the murder weapon – a revolver – matched that of the 39-year-old suspect. His DNA had been on record after a previous unrelated arrest.

In August 2003, Pericleous had been sent to collect a customer near Tsada golf course when he was shot. His body was found around 500 metres from his car by a passer-by. He had been shot three times in the chest and point blank in the head with the revolver, which police found in some bushes nearby.

State pathologist Eleni Antoniou had said it was the bullet to the head that killed Pericleous. “The shot in the head was fatal,” she said. “He also had wounds in his left hand and shoulder blade.”

Police had originally believed Pericleous’ murder was connected with that of 65-year-old Michalis Zacharias in Marathounta two months earlier, since the two men worked in the same taxi office and both died after they were asked to collect customers in remote areas.

Pericleous had also been questioned by police over Zacharias’ death, as had his son, but they were released without charge.

Zacharias was found dead at a construction site on the old Episkopi to Marathounta road. He had been called to pick up a customer from Episkopi but never returned. State pathologist Sofocles Sofocleous said at the time that he had been stabbed 20 times in the back and throat and bludgeoned with a stone.

Police had initially believed Zacharias was killed for the large amount of cash he was carrying in his taxi. They then said the two murders could have been the result of a feud.

No one was ever charged in connection with Zacharias’ murder.

Cyprus Mail

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