A 35 year old man on Tuesday pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter of a 39 year old Briton and the attempted murder of his friend in Peyia last June.
The defendant had initially faced charges of premeditated murder and attempted murder, but the charge sheet was today amended to manslaughter, the Cyprus News Agency said.
He appeared before the Paphos Criminal Court which set the hearing to start on March 12. The defendant will remain in police custody at Nicosia Central Prison until then. His defence lawyer did not object.
The Cyprus News Agency reported that the prosecution will call 43 witnesses.
The hit and run occurred on a road at Coral Bay in the early hours of Sunday June 24 as holidaymakers Charlie Birch, 39, from Welshpool and his friend William Pritchard, were walking home.
Earlier that night the two men had intervened to help a woman when she was being assaulted by the defendant.
She was in the car when it hit the two men. Eyewitnesses told police that immediately after the incident, she had jumped out of the car shouting ‘”you killed them, I do not want to go to jail.”
The driver of the car later drove the car into the sea at Ayios Yiorgios fishing shelter, leaving the woman in the car. She was rescued by fishermen who said she was in a state of shock.
She was initially arrested but later released as nothing incriminating was found against her.