The defence in the waste management trial filed a motion on Monday asking for procedures against two defendants – an individual and a company – to be terminated claiming they had been tainted because an extradition order was issued on the wrong information.
Lawyer Chris Triantafyllides suggested that if the Greek court knew that the offence described by one of the charges had been allegedly committed in Cyprus and Greece, then, based on Greek law, it would not have issued an extradition order for Theofanis Lolos. He argued that one of the charges against Lolos and Enviroplan S.A had been withdrawn because the related offence had not been included in the ones for which the order had been issued.
The case revolves around waste management company Helector, the operator of two landfills – one at Marathounda, Paphos, the other at Koshi, Larnaca – which is alleged to have overcharged municipalities by reporting higher waste volumes while public officials looked the other way in return for skimming off the top.
They – individuals and three companies – faced 104 charges including conspiracy to defraud, bribery, abuse of power, breach of trust by a public official, conspiracy to commit a felony, money laundering, and obtaining money under false pretences.
The current defendants are former Larnaca Mayor Andreas Louroudjiatis; Demetrios Patsalides (municipal employee); Michalis Pantis, Stelios Papadopoulos (civil servant), Antonis Kourouzides, Georgios Koullapis (pensioners); former head of the Paphos Sewerage Board Eftychios Malekkides; Nicholas Koullapis (doctor); Enviroplan S.A.; Lolos (chemical engineer); N.E Midoriaco Ltd; and Helector Cyprus Ltd.
Triantafyllides argued that “based on Greek law, when the offence is committed in Cyprus and Greece, then Greek justice cannot issue a European warrant. The Greek court was told that the offence was only committed in Cyprus.”
He argued that from the moment the warrant was problematic, “the entire procedure is tainted and the trial of the two defendants cannot continue,” Triantafyllides said.
Prosecutor Ninos Kekkos said he was not aware such a matter would be raised and asked the court for time to present his position.
The court adjourned until Tuesday.