Greek police arrest Bulgarian hitman over murder of John Macris


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Police in Greece on Friday said they have arrested and charged a Bulgarian man over the suspected contract killing of 46-year-old Greek Australian man John Macris, who was fatally shot outside his Voula home last year.

The Bulgarian man was arrested on Tuesday in the Glyfada neighbourhood of Athens over the execution-style killing in October last year.

CCTV captured the assassination, with footage showing a man in a baseball cap firing a handgun through the side window of Macris' car, and then pursuing him and continuing to fire as Macris ran from the car.

The 46-year-old died at the scene.

The Bulgarian suspect's brother is also wanted on suspicion of having helped plan the murder of Macris, and driving the killer's getaway car. The 33-year-old brother is believed to be in Bulgaria.

Police spokeswoman Ioanna Rotziokou said the suspects, whose names were not made public, spent nearly three weeks allegedly planning the murder.

"We have strong indications that it was a contract killing," she said. "They carefully organised the murder plan keeping the suspect under surveillance and using various rented vehicles."

It was unclear who had ordered the murder in the Voula suburb.

Police said the brothers fled to Bulgaria a day after the October 31 shooting, but the suspected murderer, aged 31, returned to Athens, possibly for another contract killing.

He was identified with the help of footage from cameras near the murder scene and arrested Tuesday after trying to escape a police blockade in southern Athens, during which he allegedly rammed a patrol car with his vehicle.

The man was charged with murder. His lawyer, Apostolos Lytras, said his client denied any wrongdoing.

Authorities say Macris was well known to both Greek and Australian police.

*Source: The Associated PressĀ