Cyprus Mail

Court orders former minister’s arrest

The Limassol district court on Wednesday ordered the arrest of former interior minister Dinos Michaelides who is wanted by Greece in connection with money laundering.

Michaelides, who has been fighting extradition for the past couple of months, fell ill during the procedure and was taken away in an ambulance.

He was transferred to Nicosia general hospital where he underwent tests and is said to be in good condition.

Michaelides will be kept in hospital overnight as a precaution and probably discharged on Thursday, a hospital official said.

The former minister’s defence had asked for a stay of execution on health grounds until Monday.

The defence said it would appeal the decision by then.

But the court rejected the request and ordered that Michaelides, 76, remained in custody until he was handed over to Greece.

He has three working days to appeal the decision.

Greek authorities are investigating Michaelides and his son Michalis in connection with alleged kickbacks paid in the purchase by Greece of Russian TOR-M1 surface-to-air missile systems.

They had issued a European arrest warrant for Michaelides and son back in July.

His son’s case will be heard on September 4.

The pair had been implicated after the arrest of former Greek defence minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos in connection with the case.

The alleged offences that father and son are wanted for, took place between 1997 and 2001.

They deny any wrongdoing but said they want to be tried in Cyprus.

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