Greek police are waiting for a positive identification of an Albanian man who was killed in a shootout with Cypriot police after assassinating a prominent businessman and two other people on Thursday, as they believe he may be the same man arrested three years ago in Athens over an earlier attempt on the businessman’s life.
Phanos Kalopsidiotis, a close family friend and the friend’s wife were gunned down on Thursday night in Cyprus’s Ayia Napa district. According to witnesses, two men drove up in a car and opened fire, killing Kalopsidiotis and his two friends in front of the couple’s two children. One of the assailants was killed by police, while the other managed to flee.
Exactly four years to the day that he was killed, Kalopsidiotis had survived an attack in the same area in which all five of his bodyguards were shot dead. Police in Greece at the time arrested a 38-year-old self-styled anarchist, Dimitris Mamalikopoulos, and another man over the attack. Greek officers also discovered during their investigation that Mamalikopoulos was close friends with an Albanian man, aged 38 at the time, who was taken in for questioning during the latter’s arrest but then released.
The same man was rearrested on a Cypriot warrant after Kalopsidiotis named him as one of his would-be assassins. He was again questioned and released due to a lack of evidence.