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Cyprus

Lillis seeks new lawyer in Saudi case

Nicos Lillis

By Constantinos Psillides

BUSINESSMAN Nikos Lillis appeared before the Larnaca District Court on Wednesday to request permission to find a new lawyer, in connection to a civil suit filed against him and his company – Wadnic Trading Ltd – by the Saudi Arabian Dashishah family.

Lillis told the court that he had a disagreement with his lawyer, Giorgos Christofides, and that he had asked to withdraw.

The court granted Lillis’ request.

CyBC radio reported that sources close to Lillis claimed the businessman was trying to settle the case out of court by offering a compromise. CyBC claims that Lillis offered to pay the Dashishah family almost all the money they had invested, in exchange for them dropping the charges against him.

The same sources claimed that the family won’t accept Lillis’ proposal, insisting not only that they get paid in full but that they are also paid legal expenses and interest on the money owned.

The Larnaca District court had issued a preliminary ruling in February that the evidence substantiated a case against the defendants – Lillis and Wadnic – for failing to honour a cheque issued, and ordered them to testify.

Lillis was accused by the Dashishahs of wresting the amount of €400,000 from their company – Dashishah International Ltd – under false pretences, promising them a stake in the notorious Aero Centre in Dromolaxia, near Larnaca.

After studying the pertinent evidence, the court ordered Lillis and his company to testify, noting that following the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Dashishah International Ltd and Wadnic Trading Ltd, Lillis received the amount of €400,000 and issued a cheque for the same amount to the Saudi businessmen.

But while the cheque was payable on December 23, 2011, and presented on the same day for payment by the Dashishahs, it had already been recalled in writing by Lillis on behalf of his company, Wadnic.

Lillis and Wadnic were key players in a major corruption scandal involving the funding of a multi-million euro development project – the Aero Centre – in Dromolaxia from the pension fund of state-owned telecoms company CyTA, with hundreds of thousands allegedly exchanging hands in kickbacks and greasing political wheels.

The court adjourned for October 2.

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