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Cyprus

AG to get report on Christofias walkout on Monday

By Peter Stevenson

The report on former president Demetris Christofias’ premature departure on Thursday from the committee of inquiry into the economy will be given to the attorney-general on Monday.

Petros Clerides will be tasked to decide whether criminal charges will be brought against the former president.
The panel said that Christofias’ refusal to testify potentially constitutes “insubordination to a legal order”, an offence that falls under the penal code. As such, the committee referred the matter to the attorney-general. The offence could be punishable with a fine of up to €2,000.

Christofias’ departure on Thursday has caused much conjecture between ruling DISY and opposition AKEL.
The creation of the committee was based on constitutional provisions and legislation and the expert advice of the attorney-general the government said on Friday.

Responding to allegations by former president Demetris Christofias’ legal advisers earlier that the committee was illegal, government spokesman Christos Stylianides said that any doubts into the committee’s creation did not serve the public interest.

“The government has no intention of getting into a public debate with anybody on legal issues but would like to make clear that the creation of the committee was based on constitutional provisions and legislation and the expert advice of the attorney-general,” Stylianides said.

Christofias’ legal advisers had suggested on Friday that the committee was illegal, a day after the former president had walked out of a hearing because he was not allowed to read a lengthy statement.

Aristos Damianou, who is also an AKEL MP, suggested that the committee should have been appointed by the attorney-general and not the cabinet because along with President Nicos Anastasiades, it was under investigation itself.

“From the moment the cabinet and, by his own demand, President Nicos Anastasiades were under investigation, the appointment should have been made by the attorney-general,” Damianou told a news conference, citing the law on investigating committees.

At a press conference yesterday, general-secretary for the Green Party Giorgos Perdikis said that by questioning the legality of the committee, AKEL was essentially trying to mislead the public into not concentrating on the facts.

“What the Cypriot public wants to know is who is responsible for the economic crisis, an event many are responsible for, evidently plenty of them from the previous government. They are not interested in legal interpretations,” Perdikis said.

 

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