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Cyprus

Fifth arrest in Aristo land case

By George Psyllides

Police on Tuesday arrested a fifth suspect in connection with zoning violations in Paphos.

The 39-year-old man works for Aristo Developers, whose boss, Theodoros Aristodemou, has been detained by police in the same case.

Police believe the man, who is expected to be brought before a court on Wednesday, is the person who forged a land registry plan related with the case.

The Aristo boss was arrested on Thursday along with his wife and two other suspects – the former Paphos municipal engineer, and a 36-year-old woman who works for the local authority’s technical services.

The arrests followed a police investigation into the demarcation of 177 land plots in Skali, Paphos, in 2010.

It emerged that the plans for which the demarcation permits were issued were switched with new plans, which seemed to cede approximately 3,000 square metres, worth hundreds of thousands of euro, previously designated as green space, back to Aristo Developers.

Meanwhile Aristodemou is still being treated in a private clinic in Nicosia after initially falling ill on Friday.

He was hospitalised in Paphos and was released on Sunday but on Monday he was admitted again, just before being questioned by police.

Aristodemou is said to have a history of heart problems.

The 36-year-old municipal officer is also being treated at Paphos hospital after falling ill on Saturday.

They were all remanded in custody for eight days on Saturday though the Aristodemous have filed an appeal against their detention.

It is unlikely that the Supreme Court would find the time to examine the appeal before the expiry of the remand order.

And police would likely ask for an extension since they have not yet managed to question Aristodemou or the municipal worker.

At the same time the municipality was going through its files on Tuesday to find and hand over anything related with companies involving Aristodemou.

Mayor Savvas Vergas said they had received a list from the company registrar with all the entities Aristodemou was involved in, either as a director or a shareholder, and municipal officers were trying to locate all the related applications.

The mayor said he expected that by Wednesday they would have delivered all the files relating to companies Aristodemou was involved in.

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