State to appeal O’Dwyer decision and sentence

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Cyprus Mail
Cyprus Mail

THE Attorney-general will appeal a court decision and the sentence handed down in the assault of a British national by a developer following a dispute over a property.

On Wednesday, a Paralimni court sentenced property developers, Christoforos Karayiannas, 55 and his son Marios, 35, to a 10-month jail term that was however suspended for two years for assaulting Conor O’Dwyer in 2008.

A third man involved in the incident, 31-year-old Charalambos Ttigis was fined €3,000.

The court found the trio guilty last month of assaulting O’Dwyer and causing actual bodily harm (ABH) – and not the more serious grievous bodily harm (GBH) count, the state had charged them with.

State prosecutor Thanasis Papanicolaou told the Cyprus Mail yesterday that the state will appeal. “I have been authorised by the Attorney-general to file an appeal for both the decision and the sentence,” Papanicolaou said. He added that this would be done in the next few days.

Papanicolaou stressed, that the fact that the plaintiff was British did not make any difference to the state.

“Every person has rights in the Republic of Cyprus, whether they are Cypriots, foreigners, EU nationals or third country nationals,” he said. “The Attorney- general’s position is that nothing changes because he is British or any other nationality. Justice is for all.”

The GBH charge carries a maximum of seven years in jail while ABH goes up to three years.

In her decision on October 27, Judge Evi Antoniou said O’Dwyer – when he testified during the trial – was “excessive in most points.”

“He was stressed, lost his temper, and through his testimony it became evident that the only thing he wanted was the punishment of the defendants,” the judge said. “This led him to numerous contradictions in his testimony.”

During sentencing, the judge said she accepted the position that Christoforos and Marios Karayiannas had been repeatedly provoked by the plaintiff. “Recording most of the conversations the plaintiff had with defendant One without him knowing … publishing the conversations on the Internet, the claims of the plaintiff that defendants One and Two are liars and they mislead people, and publishing these claims as well as harassing” the defendants’ clients “cannot be ignored,” the judge said.

“The plaintiff’s behaviour cannot be isolated from the way things went. He activated four spy cameras; one being a micro- camera hidden well in his jacket to peacefully measure, according to his claim, the pavement of the house he bought and to take pictures,” the judge said.

That provocation was taken into consideration when deciding whether to suspend the sentence, the judge said. It is believed that this particular point will be disputed by the prosecution in the appeal.

The legal precedent cited by the judge stated that provocation can be a mitigating factor in passing sentence but nowhere did it explicitly say that it can be used to suspend a sentence.

By: George Psyllides Published: Friday 5th November 2010

To see comments from British expats read this article in the Cyprus Property News