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Hasikos calls for end to ‘wiretap trials’

Interior Minister Socratis Hasikos

INTERIOR Minister Socratis Hasikos refused to comment on reports suggesting he was ready to resign because his counterpart at the justice ministry did not want to arrest two police officers implicated in the suspicious land deal case.

Meanwhile, Attorney-general Costas Clerides ordered police to investigate who was behind the recordings of the damning conversations between a key suspect, Nicos Lillis, and his lawyers that were leaked to the media on Wednesday and Thursday.

Hasikos said an end must be put to the “wiretap trials” and said it was stupid to suggest he had been pressured by the justice and communications minister not to proceed with the case.

“Don’t you think we have more serious things to do instead of dealing with who stole from whom and where was the bug placed,” Hasikos told reporters.

The minister wondered if trials will take place on websites or through wiretaps and bugs.

“I refuse to get into such a discussion,” he said.

He refused to comment on reports having him saying DISY MP Rikkos Mappourides was corrupt and that he was planning to ask for his immunity to be lifted.

“We really have more serious matters to deal with,” he said.

Attorney-general Clerides ordered police to look into the wiretap case following a complaint filed by lawyer Giorgos Georgiou.

However, reports claimed the conversations were recorded by Lillis’ wife and it was only known to one of his lawyers.

Web-based news outlet Sigmalive said the transcripts were then passed on to the lawyer who then handed them over to the leadership of an unnamed political party.

Former ruling party AKEL, which has been implicated in the affair, reiterated on Thursday that a conspiracy was afoot against its members.

MP Aristos Damianou said it was clear as day that special arrangements had been made, referring to what appears to be a deal between Lillis and his prosecutors for his case to be referred to the district court instead of the criminal court, which can give longer custodial sentences.

Damianou said party leader Andros Kyprianou will ask Clerides to intervene and carry out a probe into how the case had been investigated.

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