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Aristo fraud suspects quizzed by police

Aristo Developers CEO Theodoros Aristodemou

By Constantinos Psillides

ALL five suspects in the Aristo Developers case of forging documents and conspiring to defraud the state were questioned by police yesterday, including the company’s founder and CEO Theodoros Aristodemou who had been hospitalised for the last five days with chest-pains and high blood pressure.

Aristodemou’s questioning began on Thursday afternoon and was concluded yesterday.

Also questioned was 36-year old Elisavet Kouspou, a Paphos municipal engineer who was also hospitalised. Kouspou fainted during her remand hearing last Saturday, followed by signs of depression, which prompted her admission to Limassol general’s psychiatric ward.

According to police sources, Aristodemou told investigators that he was willing to fully cooperate with the authorities, denying all charges against him.

Aristo is under investigation in a suspected attempt to increase the demarcation area under development by forging the documents submitted to, and approved by, the Land Registry.

The forged document, which relates to Aristo’s planned development at the Skali area in Paphos, had green areas and the road network on the approved plans reduced by some 2,700 square metres, allegedly in order to allow Aristo a larger area for development. This alegedly resulted in an estimated additional gain for the company of €1.1 million.

Already questioned were Aristodemou’s wife Roula, 63-year old former municipal engineer Savvas Savva and 38-year old designer Christos Solomonides, who appears to be the one who forged the documents.

Specifically, Solomonides was claimed by lead investigators 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.

According to police sources, Solomonides admitted to being the one forging the document but claimed that he did so under instructions by his superiors and that this was standard practice.

According to the same sources, Kouspou also claimed that she was operating under instructions, laying the blame with the 63-year old former municipal engineer.

The eight-day remand for all five suspects expires on tomorrow and the prosecutors may seek a renewal.

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