THERE HAS been no let-up to AKEL’s public campaign to discredit the police and the Attorney-General over the arrest of two of its officials in connection with Dromolaxia land scandal. The campaign is being conducted by party boss Andros Kyprianou, who has been making statements about the ‘stitch-up’ every day since the arrest of his officials, whom he visited on Sunday at the police holding cells to underline his support and certainty of their innocence.
His initial criticism of the arrests implied that members of political parties should be treated preferentially by the law – no warrants should have been issued, based on the testimony of one man, but instead the politicians should have been called in by the police for questioning. As this was not standard police procedure, it was obvious he was advocating special treatment, while paying lip service to equality before the law.
As for his insistence that the AKEL members were victims of a ‘stitch-up’ – a claim he and his minions have been repeating every day – it constituted open questioning of the honesty and integrity of the newly-appointed Attorney-General who has ultimate responsibility for the investigation. The latter responded to the charges of a ‘stitch-up’ but has avoided saying anything else since. Perhaps this was interpreted as a sign of weakness as in the last couple of days Kyprianou has resorted to open threats.
Asked on Monday if he had documentation to support his allegations, he said that he had and would present it if the stitch-up went ahead. He was more explicit with his threat yesterday, when he said: “We will let it happen and when it happens we will document the fact that this thing is the result of a stitch-up for which we have evidence. If the fabricated testimony is prevented, then there would be absolutely no problem.”
This is clear blackmail and a flagrant attempt to pervert the course of justice. Kyprianou is quite clearly telling the legal services and the police not to use the testimony they have against the AKEL suspects because there would be consequences. It is quite astonishing that a party leader could resort to such bullying.
But unfortunately this intimidation works. If it did not the Attorney-General would have sent the police to question Kyprianou about his allegations of the stitch-up, which is an illegal act and should be investigated. It is not up to an individual to decide – even if he is a party leader – whether to report an illegal act. It is his responsibility to do so, instead of using the evidence he supposedly has to blackmail the authorities into following his diktats.
Even if the Attorney-General does not take action against this blackmail and transparent attempt to pervert the course of justice, he should not allow himself to be intimidated by Kyprianou’s bullying. It should be made clear to AKEL that its intimidation tactics and threats will not work.