NEWS

DNA links two suspects to police killings

Police said Friday that they had detained two of the suspected perpetrators behind the fatal shooting in March of two members of the force?s motorcycle-riding DIAS squad in Rendi, southwestern Athens, adding that they had ?unshakable evidence? linking the pair to the attack.

The men, aged 36 and 28 and both ethnic Greeks from the former Soviet Union, have been linked to the killing of Giorgos Skyloyiannis, 22, and Yiannis Evangelinelis, 23, through DNA evidence and fingerprints found at the scene of the crime, police said.

The 36-year-old suspect is believed to be the one who actually shot the two officers, according to colleagues of the victims who were at the scene and witnessed the events. DNA taken from one of the assault rifles found in a car abandoned by the perpetrators and on a glove dropped at the scene of the shooting reportedly matches that of the 36-year-old suspect.

The older man is also believed to have been driving the stolen car that police were dispatched to chase following reports of an armed robbery at a street kiosk. The shooting occurred after two pairs of DIAS officers managed to corner the car in Rendi.

In his testimony to police, the 36-year-old reportedly admitted to have been in the car with the 28-year-old and another two suspects but denied shooting at the officers when he and his accomplices were cornered.

The other two suspects, also ethnic Greeks from the former Soviet Union, remain at large and it is believed likely that they have tried to return to Russia. Police sources told Kathimerini that these two suspects managed to escape from Greece in mid-March, two weeks after the fatal shootings. Police, however, would not confirm reports that officers had traced the suspects after tapping cell phone calls between them and an ethnic Greek from Russia who is currently in a Greek jail serving time for a string of armed robberies.

According to that report, the convict helped produce fake passports for the suspects and to get the illicit documents to the two who are believed to have fled the country.