Police in Cyprus arrested three men suspected of the murder of the island’s most powerful publisher, a police spokesman said Friday. The three men in their 30s were arrested late Thursday by police investigating the killing of Andy Hadjicostis, spokesman Michalis Katsounotos said

He said the suspects, who are known to police, will appear on Friday in a Nicosia court where investigators will seek their detention for a maximum eight days to assist in their probe.

Hadjicostis, 41, director of Dias media group, was gunned down Monday night as he stepped out of his car outside his home in central Nicosia.

The government quickly ruled out political motives behind the killing to quash speculation that the crime was aimed at spurring instability at a time when peace talks with Turkish Cypriots have sharpened divisions between Greek Cypriot liberals and right-wingers favoring a harder line.

This tiny Mediterranean island remains scarred by political and interethnic violence that erupted after independence from Britain in 1960.

Hadjicostis was seen as a rising star in the island’s majority Greek Cypriot community, taking over a media stable founded by his father that includes the conservative daily Simerini, the private Sigma television station, a popular radio station and several magazines.

His newspaper and media were supportive of the broader peace process but had expressed public concern that the island’s Greek Cypriot President Dimitris Christofias could make too many concessions to the Turkish Cypriot side.

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