I know there are more serious news items to report on, however I feel it is the need to bring to your attention a situation I recently experienced which I find incredible and extremely humiliating as well as not making sense.
I was called to court in relation to a minor charge, so being a law abiding citizen I attended and did not see the need to bring a lawyer, as I needed some answers myself as did not have a clue why I was being called to court over something that in someone’s else’s eyes I had done wrong… three years previously.
I entered the courtroom and became quickly aware that it was a general court and was filled with lawyers and defendants. You wait for your name to be called. A translator as provided by my side. The judge turned to me and asked if I understood the accusation.
I said: ‘No I do not. I don’t know why I am here’
I had no other information apart from the summons so I refused to enter a plea on that basis. This is the incredible part. I was told I had to deposit with the court thousands of euros for my bail to ensure I would turn up at court at a later date.
I responded: ‘Why would you ask such a thing? My children were born here. I live here, pay my social, have no convictions’
The judge referred to me as a foreigner under the legal framework of Cyprus – which is not allowed as you should be referred to as defendant. I had to pay the guarantee, which was thousands, because if I didn’t they would have jailed me that day until the next court date.
Now my point: If you think they do this to just foreigners you are wrong, they do the same to Cypriots. Now think of the money it costs the state to jail someone for basically having nothing proven against them. What idiot came up with this idea? In other civilised countries the background of the person is taken into account [in a bail hearing] but not here, so be careful.
In addition under human rights internationally you have the right to see all the papers backing up any accusation. Here you have to pay to get that file. So can someone please tell me who came up with these amazing ways of jailing people for no reason and costing millions to the state that the state does not have, and also wasting time in general in an attempt to get money from people. I state again they do this to Cypriots as well and this cannot be legal. This is dangerous and completely unfair to everyone, and it’s certainly is not a system that works. It’s a money machine and a form of bullying.
Name and address withheld