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Tycoon on trial

PUBLISHED: 17:10 30 July 2009 | UPDATED: 14:39 24 August 2010

A PROPERTY tycoon has denied all knowledge or involvement in the brutal murder of a caretaker at a £3million disused warehouse. Thanos Papalexis, 37, allegedly killed sitting tenant Charalambos Christodoulides, 55, with two henchmen because he was delayi

A PROPERTY tycoon has denied all knowledge or involvement in the brutal murder of a caretaker at a £3million disused warehouse.

Thanos Papalexis, 37, allegedly killed sitting tenant Charalambos Christodoulides, 55, with two henchmen because he was delaying the purchase of the property.

The victim was beaten, tortured and strangled before his body was dumped in a garage inspection pit at the warehouse.

Mr Christodoulides was murdered on March 10, 2000, inside the warehouse Banister Road, Kilburn, where he lived in a self-contained flat, the Old Bailey has heard.

Papalexis left the country days later and did not return to the UK, but started a new life in Miami, Florida, jurors have been told.

On Wednesday, July 22, he took to the witness stand in a navy suit, blue shirt and dark blue tie, with his dark black hair slicked back, to deny murder.

His barrister Michael Borrelli QC asked if he was involved in the murder or the attempted clean up.

Well-spoken Papalexis replied: "I have no knowledge or involvement in that murder. I had nothing to do with it whatsoever.

"If I had any idea of something having gone on in the property by people who worked with me the only thing I would've done was call the authorities."

Papalexis told the court he had never met or spoken to Mr Christodoulides, who was affectionately known as Bambi or Charles.

Papalexis recruited two of his workers, Albanian asylum seekers Ylli Xhelo, 35 of Edmonton, and Robert Baxhija, 28 of Palmers Green, for the killing, it is alleged.

He wanted Mr Christodoulides out the property so he could rush through a quick sale of the property to pay off debts which threatened to ruin his business empire, it is alleged.

All three deny murder.

The trial continues.


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