Cyprus media tycoon slain

The gangland-style execution on Monday night of prominent Cypriot publisher Andy Hadjicostis appears to bear the hallmarks of the island’s mafia, according to police who noted that the 41-year-old media figure had received warnings of a possible attack against him. According to police, Hadjicostis, the owner of the Dias publishing group and Sigma television channel, was shot twice at point-blank range while getting out of his car near his home in an upmarket part of central Nicosia. The assassin used a double-barreled sawn-off shotgun in the attack before fleeing on a motorcycle driven by an accomplice, police said. There was speculation in the Cypriot media that the murder might have been politically motivated as Hadjicostis’s media group had criticized a United Nations blueprint for the reunification of the divided island, rejected by the Greek Cypriots in 2004. But police sources said they believed a likelier scenario was a financial dispute with a convict serving time in a Cypriot jail.