Cyprus gained its independence from Britain in 1960 but for its first executions the Cypriot Government sent to England for hangmen Harry Allen and John Underhill. On Wednesday, June 13th, 1962, they went to Nicosia Central Prison to hang three Greek Cypriots involved in two separate murders.

Hambia Zacharia was convicted of killing a man in a Limassol vineyard in 1958. Michael Hiletikos and Lazaris Demetriou were convicted of shooting dead a man outside a nightclub in the same town in 1961. Their victim had himself been acquitted of attempting to murder a Danish nightclub dancer the previous month. Hiletikos had fled to England from where he was extradited to face trial.