NICOSIA (XINHUA) - A self-confessed serial-killer received seven life sentences on Monday (June 24) after he pleaded guilty to killing five foreign women and the children of two of them in a murder spree that went undetected for three years.
Nicos Metaxas, a 35-year-old captain of the Cypriot National Guard, pleaded guilty to a total 12 of charges relating to the premeditated murder and abduction of the seven victims.
They came from Romania, the Philippines, and Nepal and were murdered between September 2016 and July 2018.
The case was the worst ever peace time atrocity in Cypriot living memory and caused abhorrence and horror to the islanders.
It led to the resignation of the justice minister and the chief of police after it was found out that many of the victims had been reported as missing persons and the police failed to effectively investigate their disappearance.
Metaxas was taken under heavy security on Monday to a courthouse in the capital Nicosia wearing a bullet-proof vest.
He broke down in tears as the chief investigator into the case read out the charges and detailed his murders before the three-member Assize Court, Cyprus's highest criminal court.
He appeared without a lawyer and when he was asked by the court what he had to say before sentence was passed on him, he told the judges he repented for the killings and for the distress he caused to the families of the victims.
"I have committed abhorrent crimes...I ask for forgiveness from the Cypriot society who are wandering why I have reach this point...I myself don't know the answer," Metaxas, a divorced man, said.
He also apologised to his two children, his family and relatives. He said he decided to plead guilty to spare the state more trouble and a long court process.