By Angelos Anastasiou
ARISTO Developers’ CEO Theodoros Aristodemou and Paphos municipality engineer Elisavet Kouspou, two of the suspects arrested over a case of forging documents and conspiring to defraud the state, were discharged on Thursday afternoon from the clinics they were being held for treatment and taken back to police custody.
Aristodemou had been hospitalised since his arrest last Friday, citing chest-pain and high blood pressure. Following his discharge from Paphos general and shortly before being brought for questioning on Monday, he was rushed to a private clinic in Nicosia after feeling unwell.
He and three other individuals, including his wife Roulla, were remanded for eight days last Saturday in connection to a case of suspected forgery of architectural plans and conspiracy to defraud the state in a planned development by Aristo in Skali, Paphos.
On Wednesday, his physicians at the private clinic told police that he would be unavailable to give a statement to the police at least until Friday as his treatment required drugs that distort cognitive skills.
But police, in collaboration with the Attorney General’s office, invoked an old cabinet decision that allowed a state-appointed medical council to determine whether a detainee citing medical reasons could give a statement or not, and on Wednesday afternoon such a body found Aristodemou fit to do so.
Paphos police spokesman Nikos Tsappis told state radio on Thursday morning that, if need be, the same route will be taken for 36-year-old Kouspou, a Paphos municipal engineer also under arrest in connection with the case.
Kouspou fainted during her remand hearing last Saturday, followed by signs of depression, which prompted her admission to Limassol general’s psychiatric ward. She was examined by a medical council on Thursday, and her condition was also found satisfactory, resulting in her discharge.
On Wednesday, a fifth individual was arrested as a suspect, following testimony and evidence implicating 38-year-old designer Christos Solomonides, an Aristo employee in its architectural design department which is headed by Roulla Aristodemou.
Solomonides is suspected of being the one who undertook falsifying the development plans that showed reduced green areas and a road network in order to allow Aristo a larger area for development.
The excess development area would incur a gain for Aristo of some 2,700 square metres for an estimated profit of €1.1m in 2010 prices.
Specifically, Solomonides was said by lead investigator to have created fake blueprints bearing the official seal of the Land Registry and the signature of a Registry official, both of which he had scanned from the original plans and pasted onto the tampered ones.
Meanwhile, Theodoros and Roulla Aristodemou’s appeal against their eight-day remand, which expires on Sunday, was rejected on Thursday.
Tsappis did not rule out the possibility that the police might request the renewal of the remand order.
“In the context of investigation, police will certainly want to receive a statement from the 63-year-old suspect [Aristodemou], and before the remand order expires we will look into whether it needs to be renewed or not,” he said.
Tsappis also said that police plan to receive written statements from individuals at the suspects’ workplace, which will add to the findings from the suspects’ statements and the files received from the Paphos municipality concerning Aristo’s dealings.