New York, January 12, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists called on Cypriot authorities today to thoroughly investigate the murder of Andis Hadjicostis, chief executive officer of Dias Media Group, who was gunned down Monday in the capital city of Nicosia.
Hadjicostis, 42, was shot dead at around 9 p.m. outside his
home in Nicosia’s
diplomatic neighborhood of Engomi, Reuters
France-Presse reported. Citing witnesses, Cypriot police told journalists today
that there were two assailants—a gunman on foot and a second man waiting for
him on a getaway motorbike. Hadjicostis died at the scene and his killers fled.
Police said they recovered no bullet casings from the crime scene, according to
local and international news reports.
Cypriot President Demetris Christofias immediately condemned
the murder and expressed hope that police would “exhaust every possibility to
solve this brutal crime,” AFP reported. Police opened a murder probe but have
yet to reveal any details, AFP
“Our thoughts go out to the family, friends, and colleagues
of Andis Hadjicostis,” said CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova. “We call on Cypriot authorities to
give every possible murder motive, including that he was gunned down for his
work, a careful consideration.”
police spokesman Michalis Katsounodos told Reuters that “two shots were heard
and the victim was found dead outside his home.” Katsounodos said investigators
refused to comment on any possible motives, referring to the ongoing
investigation. According to press reports, the killers were waiting for
Hadjicostis near his home in the vicinity of the U.S. and French embassies. When
Hadjicostis emerged from his car, a gunman fired into his chest and back.
One of the largest Cypriot media companies, Dias Media Group owns six television and
radio stations, including the popular Sigma
TV; several magazines and newspapers; and the Internet-based news portal Sigma Live.