Cyprus Mail

House probes into collapse of economy could hamper public investigation

ATTORNEY-general Costas Clerides said yesterday investigations into the causes of the economic collapse, that started in July, were already at an advanced stage, as he warned anew that parliamentary probes into the matter may put cases at risk.

Clerides said he was not disputing the seriousness of parliament’s work – on the contrary, any unknown information stemming from the hearings was utilised by the investigators.

However, the Attorney-general said, there was a risk of causing someone to seem guilty, and that is something that could be used, if charged later, “as factors that act against their right to a fair trial and the presumption of innocence.”

“Any information that comes up during the hearings in parliamentary committees does not constitute testimony and evidence ready to use in court,” Clerides said.

The Attorney-general said he fully understood the public’s expectation and demand for a speedy conclusion of the criminal investigations so that anyone responsible could be held to account.

He said that investigations were ongoing and at an advanced stage and that now there was a need for expert help so that no gaps remain. This week, the cabinet already approved the selection procedure for such experts to be hired.

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