Prisoner ‘led plot to kill Cypriot attorney general’
Three men, including a “paranoid” convicted criminal, allegedly plotted to assassinate the Cypriot attorney general using an anti-tank weapon, a police investigator has told a court.
The suspected ringleader is Andreas Ounoufriou, 61, who was sentenced to 18 years in prison for the 1996 attempted murder of a judge. The trio faces charges of conspiracy to commit murder and possession of military-grade explosives, a missile launcher and other weapons.
Police investigator Ioannis Georgadjis told Nicosia District Court yesterday that Ounoufriou allegedly masterminded the foiled killing of attorney general Petros Clerides from behind bars a few months before he was due to be released from a four-year sentence for a prison escape. Ounoufriou, believed to harbour intense hatred for Clerides and other figures of authority, allegedly recruited the other two men, aged 39 and 52.
According to the investigator, an informer tipped off police about the plot this month. The killing was allegedly planned for 28 October near Clerides’s home.
Ounoufriou dismissed the allegations as a “fabrication” by another criminal looking to negotiate his release from prison.
The court yesterday granted a request to keep the three suspects in police custody for eight days as investigators build their case.
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