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Top AKEL MP denies link to dodgy land deal

A TOP AKEL MP denied being linked to a suspicious land deal in Larnaca involving the pension fund of state telecoms company CyTA, a court heard on Tuesday.

Police investigator Costas Constantinou told the court he had taken a statement from MP Nicos Katsourides who had acted on his own initiative.
In his statement, Katsourides said he called the police to clarify certain things claimed by another witness.
Katsourides said he had never spoken on the phone about CyTA with a key player in the case, businessman Nicos Lillis, and it was never said he would receive one million euros as part of the whole deal.
“Apart from it being a lie, I have said it in public and I repeat, my bank accounts are at the disposal of the police,” Katsourides’ statement said, which was read in court.
The statement was taken at Katsourides’ home on July 19, 2013 but the MP declined to sign it as is normal.
Asked about this by the defence, Constantinou said the MP did not say why he did not want to sign.
“I wondered why Nicos Katsourides did not want to sign his statement but only he can explain why,” Constantinou told the court.
Lillis and his company, Wadnic, are key players in the case concerning the funding of a multi-million development project – the Aero Centre – in Dromolaxia from the CyTA pension fund, with hundreds of thousands of euros allegedly exchanging hands in kickbacks and greasing political wheels.
The land was sold to Wadnic Trading, which managed to upgrade the coefficients, built on it and sold it on to the CyTA pension fund for some €20 million.
Former CyTA chairman Stathis Kittis and six others – former electricity authority EAC chairman Charalambos Tsouris, a member of the CyTA board at the time, opposition AKEL official Venizelos Zanettou, the director of CyTA’s pay-TV arm and SEK union rep Orestis Vasilliou, CyTA employee Yiannis Souroullas and his brother Gregoris who works at the land registry, and businessman Antonis Ioakim, a shareholder in Wadnic, are being tried separately by the Larnaca Criminal Court in connection with the case.

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