The 41-year-old is not guilty of online fraud

The District Court of Paphos found the 41-year-old not guilty today, Monday, who was arrested in Madrid and transferred to Cyprus for a case of online fraud.

The offenses the defendant was facing were the loss of another person’s property by interfering with the operation of a computer, obtaining money by false pretenses, money laundering and the offense of theft.

Specifically, the offenses were committed in October 2020 where, according to a complaint by a resident of Paphos, the complainant had contacted a company that deals with gardening work with the aim of undertaking some work at his home. Within the framework of the agreement, the complainant sent the amount of €17,850 as an advance payment to the company through a bank account.

The complainant was later informed by email to cancel the transaction as the company was unable to receive the amount of money, which the complainant did.

He was then given new instructions via email, as well as a bank account in the Netherlands, where he was asked to send money, which the complainant did, according to the complaint. Subsequently, as reported to the Court after communication he had, he found that the company in question did not have an account in the Netherlands and that it was a fraud.

Regarding the facts of the case, the Prosecuting Authority, represented by the Attorney General of the Republic G. Argyrou, had presented to the Court, five prosecution witnesses, the first of which was a police officer-investigator – who was examining the case. The second prosecution witness was the Director of the company that entered into an agreement with the complainant in the said offenses under consideration, the third witness was the employee of the Bank who testified about the transfer of the money to the accused’s account, the fourth prosecution witness was the employee of company who had a direct conversation with the complainant and the fifth witness was the complainant who testified about the fraud and the taking of his money.

It is noted that the accused was arrested in Madrid and transferred to Cyprus on August 25, 2022 to begin the hearing process. By an interim decision of the Court dated November 08, 2022 the Accused was acquitted and acquitted of the charges of loss of another person’s property by interfering with the operation of a computer, obtaining money by false representations as well as money laundering and the Court invited him to plea for the crime of theft.

Announcing the decision, the District Court of Paphos noted that in the case under consideration, what was disputed by Mr. Satolias, the defendant’s defense lawyer, was very limited and mainly related to whether or not there was testimony that it was the Defendant who had sent the specific e-mails in connection with the fraud, or had interfered with the computer of the company that was talking to the complainant or of the complainant, or if the complainant knew that the money credited to his account was the result of illegal activities or money other than that of a third party informed him that it would be credited to his account and then delivered to him.

Among other things, as the defense submitted, for all the offenses for which the warrants of arrest were sought and obtained, the Accused had been acquitted from the prima facie stage. Position which was accepted by the Court.

The Court stated that the jurisprudence is clear, noting that the burden of proof is on the prosecution and the level of proof, that of beyond all reasonable doubt, stating that even if it wanted to show that the above position of the Court is not correct, it proceeded and examined whether the accused with the testimony put before him would be convicted or not.

Stating, among other things, “the inadequacy of the testimony presented by the Prosecuting Authority to prove its primary position that the Accused stole the disputed amount of €17,850 leads the case to failure since such assumptions and doubts are created in the mind of the Court as a result of these should be decided in favor of the accused and he should be freed from the charges he is facing”.

Source: KYPE

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