‘I have committed abhorrent crimes’: Cypriot army captain appears in court wearing a bullet-proof vests as he admits being the island’s first-ever serial killer
- Nicos Metaxas appeared under heavy guard in court in Cyprus on Monday
- Army captain wept as he pleaded guilty to charges of murder and kidnapping
- He apologised to victims’s families, saying: ‘I have committed abhorrent crimes’
- Admission makes 35-year-old Metaxas Cyprus’s first-known serial killer
A Greek Cypriot army captain admitted being the island’s first known serial killer by pleading guilty to slaying five women and two children in a three-year murder spree.
Nicos Metaxas, 35, told a court in the capital Nicosia that ‘I have committed abhorrent crimes’ before breaking down in tears.
Wearing a bullet-proof vest, Metaxas apologised to the families of his victims – all of whom were overseas workers, hailing from Romanian, the Philippines and Nepal.
Nicos Metaxas, 35, has admitted being Cyprus’s first-known serial killer by pleading guilty to murdering five women and two children on Monday
The case began when tourists discovered the remains of Mary Rose Tiburcio, 38 (left) floating in a mine-shaft in April. The body of her six-year-old daughter Sierra (right) is thought to have been the last to be discovered on Wednesday last week
The case, involving the worst peace-time atrocities against women in Cyprus in memory, has triggered outrage and horror on an island where serious crime is relatively rare, and forced the resignation of the justice minister and the police chief.
Metaxas’s crimes – committed between September 2016 and July 2018 – went entirely unnoticed until tourists stumbled across the body of one of the victims after it floated to the top of a mine shaft in heavy rains in April this year.
Police have faced accusations of negligence for failing to follow up on reports of missing women, and racism because all of the victims were foreign.
Investigators have been looking for the bodies of Metaxas’s other victims for two months in a search that ended last week.
He was subsequently hauled to court and charged with premeditated murder and abduction of the seven.
All of the victims were foreign workers living on the island. Livia Florentina Bunea, 36, (left) and her eight-year-old daughter Elena Natalia (right), from Romania, went missing in 2016
Police have face accusations of racism for ignoring reports that foreign women were going missing on the island between 2016 and 2018 (pictured, officers with the remains of a victim)
The two children, aged six and eight, were daughters of two of the women.
Metaxas was taken under heavy security to the courthouse on Monday, where he appeared without a lawyer.
He broke down in tears as police read the indictment against him. ‘I have committed abhorrent crimes,’ he said, expressing condolences to the families of the victims.
A guilty plea in the Cyprus judicial process means the court will hear the facts of the case and then proceeed to sentencing.
Metaxas faces seven life sentences. The court is expected to deliver its verdict later on Monday.
Police say the accused met the women online. The victims were mostly employed as housekeepers on the island.
The police chief was sacked and the justice minister resigned following accounts of bungled investigations by police who did not take the disappearances seriously because the women were foreign.
The first victim was found dead by tourists shooting pictures at a mining shaft in late April, unravelling the macabre killing spree. The last victim discovered, the six-year-old child, was found in a lake on July 12.
Police officials stand next to a tent where divers brought what is believed to be remains of a 6-year-old girl, near the village of Xiliatos, Cyprus on Wednesday