Cyprus Mail

Delays to extradition of former minister’s son

Surface-to-air missile launchers

MICHALIS Michaelides, the son of former interior minister Dinos Michaelides, was in Limassol district court on Wednesday, appealing the European arrest warrant issued against him and his father by Greek authorities in connection with money laundering.

Proceedings were due to begin at 10.30am but were delayed until around noon.

The same documentation as the previous day for Michaelides father’s appeal was filed by both sides.

The prosecution submitted nine documents in total. They were from both Greek and Cypriot authorities as well as the European arrest warrant and the document detailing the amendment to the constitution which would allow Cyprus to extradite father and son.

The defence submitted four documents as evidence including the previous court decision which cleared both men from extradition as well as various interviews which were recorded.

The defence objected to eight of the nine pieces of evidence which were filed by the prosecution.

The justice ministry’s international judicial cooperation unit administrator, Maria Mounti was called to testify by the prosecution to confirm the receipt of documents from Greek authorities regarding the European arrest warrant.

Due to delays, they were unable to be completed and have been scheduled to continue on August 12.

Greek authorities are investigating the pair in relation to alleged kickbacks given in relation to the purchase by Greece of Russian TOR-M1 surface-to-air missile systems.

The alleged offences that father and son are wanted for, took place between 1997 and 2001. Greek authorities had originally issued an arrest warrant for the two at the beginning of the month, but the process was stalled because Cyprus’ constitution prohibited extraditing Cypriots abroad for offences allegedly committed before Cyprus joined the EU in May 2004.

Lawmakers subsequently amended the relevant legislation, removing the exception originally inserted by MPs some years ago. The Greek authorities moved quickly to rescind the original warrants and issue new ones.

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