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Cyprus

CyTA chairman to step down

Stathis Kittis

The embattled chairman of public telecoms company CyTA will be stepping down this month, the government said on Tuesday.

Stathis Kittis met President Nicos Anastasiades on Tuesday and informed him of his intention to submit his resignation this month, after finishing the organisation’s annual report, the government spokesman said.

Kittis is currently embroiled in the investigation of a suspicious land deal, involving CyTA’s pension fund, which has so far seen the arrest of two police officers and a businessman.

His resignation had been sought by the government.

“During the meeting, the president made it clear to Mr. Kittis that the ongoing investigation will follow the legal process,” Christos Stylianides said.

The land deal in question involved the purchase by CyTA’s pension fund of office space near Larnaca airport at reportedly a price several times the going market value.

Allegations have surfaced that millions were paid in kickbacks to make the deal possible.

Police last week arrested a businessman and two police officers in connection with the case.

Businessman Nicos Lillis, who is also the chairman of Alki football club, is a shareholder in Wadnic Trading Ltd, the company which purchased the land in 2007.

The officers, members of the secret service KYP, are suspected of drafting a false report that enabled the sale of the land, which belonged to a Turkish Cypriot.

The two officers allegedly produced a report saying the Turkish Cypriot seller had resided in the government-controlled areas for six months – a necessary condition — for selling the land.

The land in Dromolaxia, Larnaca, was sold to a Greek Cypriot businessman who changed its terms of use, upgraded the coefficients, built on it and sold it on to the CyTA pension fund, at several times the price he bought it from the original owner.

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