All seven defendants were found guilty on Monday by the Assize Court in Nicosia, accused for the trafficking of women from Romania, in order for forced marriages to take place with third-country nationals, with the latter acquiring European citizenship.
The seven defendants, six foreigners and one Cypriot lawyer, were found at the end of 2017 prima facie guilty and were called to account. The Court, in a detailed 137-page judgment, accepted all witnesses against them and found guilty the defendants for several charges against them..
In particular, the Court found the lawyer Christos Christodoulides, his son-in-law, Samuel Scripcariuc, three Pakistanis, Muhammad Talha Farooq, Shoaib Afzal and Zohaib Aslam, as well as two Romanians, Christina Iordaeche and Elena Duca guilty.
The Assize Court’s judgment stated that they defendants conspired in a fraudulent manner to deceive the Republic of Cyprus, a member state of the European Union, by virtue of forced marriages with European citizens, with the ultimate aim of securing a residence card in the Republic or in other member states of the European Union.
Once the seven defendants were found guilty, their detainment was ordered and they were subsequently sent to the Central Prisons until Friday, when their lawyers will apply for the remission of their sentence.
It is noted that by Monday, only two out of the five defendants were detained while yesterday, in view of the new data, all defendants are detained.
It should be further noted that the lawyer faced various charged, including interfering in court proceedings and was acquitted on all charges but the one relating to conspiracy.