By George Psyllides
MAIN opposition AKEL lent its support to Attorney-general Costas Clerides yesterday, a day after he was forced to defend the slow pace of an investigation into the collapse of the economy.
AKEL leader Andros Kyprianou said he considered the procedure followed by the state legal services appropriate and urged the government to help its work.
“The objective is how to get this procedure moving as soon as possible,” Kyprianou said, stressing that society demanded the case be resolved through the correct procedures.
“And we consider the procedure followed by the attorney-general’s office to be the appropriate one.”
Kyprianou urged Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou to intervene and provide the solutions that would help the task assumed by the legal service.
Nicolaou said the ministry did everything it could to expedite the investigation.
The minister said everyone wanted such cases to be brought before justice and his ministry’s effort was to assist in any way it could so that cases were investigated in the best way possible without any delays.
Responding to media reports that his office was dragging its feet, Clerides said on Tuesday that it was the police, not his office, who were in charge of the probe.
The involvement of the attorney-general and his office was limited to efforts at boosting the numbers of the investigation team so as to speed up the criminal inquiry, he said.
The criminal investigation will span the years 2006 to 2013, covering the transfer of capital from Laiki Bank to Greece, dodgy loans, the issuing of securities by both Laiki and Bank of Cyprus (BoC), and banks’ activities abroad, such as BoC’s acquisition of Uniastrum and Banca Transilvania.
Cyprus agreed to a €10 billion aid package from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union in March after its two major banks were all but decimated by their heavy exposure to debt-crippled Greece.