By Constantinos Psillides
INVESTIGATING the root causes of the financial meltdown and bringing those who are responsible to justice is one of the police force’s main priorities, chief Zacharias Chrysostomou said yesterday.
Elaborating on the force’s goals for the coming year, Chrysostomou told a press briefing that the members of the committee investigating the meltdown have been doubled to 30.
“Our work is huge, complicated and especially hard, given the specialised investigation that has to be conducted,” he said, adding that the investigation is on its way to conclusion, although he didn’t specify a time frame.
Chrysostomou noted that the police is working closely with the office of the Attorney general on the matter.
Attorney general Costas Clerides criticised police last week, blaming the investigative committee for delays in concluding their probe. The conflict between the AG and police prompted a reaction by President Nicos Anastasiades, who called both parties to the palace for a conciliatory meeting.
Asked by reporters whether Chrysostomou’s relationships with the AG have improved, the police chief answered that communication between them is excellent and that their relationship “was and will continue to be excellent.”
Asked whether there is a time frame for concluding the investigation, Chrysostomou said that we “will have to be very careful when setting up deadlines,” adding that the services of experts on financial crime will be procured, along with specialised software.
“We have absolutely no reason to delay the investigation. We have to deal with a massive workload, extremely complicated cases as well as legal difficulties. That is why we have ordered specialised software. Investigation must be conducted in a professional, thorough manner. We mustn’t rush it so that mistakes which will affect the case down the road can be avoided,” the police chief said.
Speaking on strengthening the public’s “feeling of security”, Chrysostomou said that the police is focusing on combating organised crime, mapping out crime so a more efficient policy can be adopted and to focus more on prevention.
“We are adopting, for the first time, a model of policing which will make our force a more current, efficient and effective body. We will be employing technology for better policing, we will stamp out corruption and enforce transparency and meritocracy,” Chrysostomou added.
The police chief said that the police will comply with all court decisions, especially those coming from the Supreme Court, pointing out that he has already ordered for a disciplinary investigation against two police officers, as instructed by the court.
Regarding the war on drugs, Chrysostomou concluded that the police will be focusing on reducing drug trafficking and smuggling.