By George Psyllides
THE House Ethics Committee decided yesterday not to publish the names of people and companies which transferred cash abroad in the days before a decision to seize bank deposits and while the island’s banking system went into lockdown after that decision was made.
The decision was taken by majority vote.
AKEL and DISY voted in favour while DIKO and EDEK disagreed.
Chairman Demetris Syllouris said the committee wanted to give time to the Central Bank governor to process the data.
“The committee has decided by majority vote not to publish the names at this stage without processing,” Syllouris said.
He said the committee will carry out a more in-depth study of the information in its possession and decide by the end of June.
Syllouris rejected suggestions that the decision could be viewed as a cover-up.
“I don’t get it; are we tossing dirt in our eyes? Did we find the data to cover it up? We found the data to process it,” Syllouris said.
DISY MP Andreas Kyprianou said the party’s position was to publish the names of all politically exposed persons who transferred money abroad during the lockdown.
“We judged that it was more important to carry out this serious work and complete it by June instead of the temporary impressions that could be created by a sweeping publication of the lists,” AKEL MP Aristos Damianou said.
The committee unanimously agreed early in April to publish the list of names of individuals and companies which transferred funds abroad between June 2012 and March 15, 2013, when deposits over €100,000 in the island’s two major banks were converted to help recapitalise.
But the two big parties did a U-turn a couple of days later following warnings from the business world and banks that such a move would hurt the ailing economy.
DIKO MP Fytos Constantinou suggested that it would be difficult to find who the politically exposed individuals were.
“There must be investigations to find out exactly who is hiding behind these companies because if we manage to find three or five or 10 exposed people we could leave behind many more,” he said.
The lists are included in a findings report drafted by the committee following an 18-month investigation into the collapse of the economy.
The report will be discussed by the plenum on May 6.