By George Psyllides
POLICE ON Monday secured permission to investigate the Paphos mayor’s phone records as part of an investigation into threatening text messages sent to witnesses in a suspicious land zoning case involving a prominent developer.
Force spokesman Andreas Angelides said Savvas Vergas’ phone records were expected on Tuesday, at the latest.
It followed Vergas’ marathon questioning on Friday about threatening text messages sent to four people, including himself, who are connected with the land zoning case involving Aristo Developers.
Vergas was questioned after it transpired that he had purchased the mobile phone used to send the messages.
The phone was in the possession of his close associate Maria Solomonidou, 33, who was arrested by police along with her father, Elias, 64.
Angelides said the two were to be released on Monday without being charged for the time being.
Threatening messages were sent to two people linked with the municipality, an employee and a councillor, and to a journalist.
Solomonidou is the sister of Aristo Developers designer Christos Solomonides, arrested along with his boss, Theodoros Aristodemou, the latter’s wife Roulla, and former municipal engineer Savvas Savva, in connection with forgery and fraud in the demarcation of 177 plots of land on behalf of the company.
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 euros, previously designated as green space, back to Aristo Developers.
Authorities were now looking into a separate case involving Vergas.
A councillor claimed that an events company linked with Solomonidou got a tax break from the local authority on condition of making a donation to charity but had failed to do so.
Vasos Demetriou reported to the auditor-general that the local authority had waived the entertainment for a concert given by Greek singer Sakis Rouvas on August 8.
The condition was that the company would donate part of the net proceeds to the municipal food bank. The decision was taken by the council.
Demetriou said no money had been donated to the food bank, “not one cent” and no explanation had been given.
He also revealed that the events company was controlled by Solomonidou’s husband.
There have also been claims of mismanagement and waste of public monies mainly relating to the construction of the town’s sewage system, which eventually cost €109 million instead of the estimated €78 million. Contractors had demanded an additional €35 million.