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A HEAVILY indebted businessman accused of murdering a caretaker who obstructed a �3million property deal has admitted he never contacted the family after the body was found. The Old Bailey heard Charalambos Christodoulides was murdered in March 2000, ins

A HEAVILY indebted businessman accused of murdering a caretaker who obstructed a �3million property deal has admitted he never contacted the family after the body was found.

The Old Bailey heard Charalambos Christodoulides was murdered in March 2000, inside a disused warehouse in Banister Road, Kilburn, which Thanos Papalexis, 37, wanted to buy from Michael Lantis, the dead man's brother-in-law.

The 55-year-old, had been beaten, tortured, strangled and dumped in a garage inspection pit within the building where he lived.

His body lay undiscovered for two weeks.


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Jurors have heard claims that Papalexis got two of his Albanian builders, Ylli Xhelo, 35, and Robert Baxhija, 28, to help kill Mr Christodoulides because he refused to move out of the building therefore jeopardising the deal.

Despite Papalexis becoming close to the victim's family via Mr Lantis, he never called them after the grisly discovery.

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He told the court: "I don't want to sound callous, but when he [Mr Christodoulides] went missing I didn't really give it too much thought.

"I thought he had just gone missing. I felt very guilty towards Michael [Lantis] for letting him down on the business deal."

Stephen Kamlish QC, who represents one of his co-defendants, asked: "After you found out that Charalambos was dead the family were distraught. Why didn't you have the decency to spend three minutes on the phone to the Lantis family offering your condolences."

Papalexis replied: "I had my own problems. Everything I knew had collapsed, my business, my home, everything."

Mr Kamlish continued: "You didn't have the decency to call because you killed his brother-in-law."

Papalexis fled to the US after the murder, the court heard.

He denies murder as do Xjelo, from Edmonton, and Baxhija, from Palmers Green, both in north London.

The trial continues.

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