By Evie Andreou
THREE reporters covering the trial of a land fraud case in Dromolaxia involving a multi-million euro investment from the CyTA Employees’ Pension Fund, have been harassed by a person involved in the trial, the journalists’ union said.
“Reporters should be free to do their job,” the head of the Union of Cyprus Journalists, Antonis Makrides, said on Wednesday.
The union said the threats started two weeks ago with the court testimony of a defendant who gave a lot of information regarding the credibility of a witness.
“This person, involved in the court case, tried to direct the journalists by teling them what they must and must not write or broadcast,” the union announcement said.
“We could not remain silent; we urge the law to take measures,” Makrides said.
He added that one of the journalists was receiving calls from that person at 4am.
According to sources, the defendant repeatedly called the journalists and protested to their employers.
His behaviour reportedly lead to a heated argument outside the Larnaca court with one of the journalists.
He was also alleged to have been calling one of the journalists “10 to 15 times a day” to check the content of the report on the trial.
The journalists and their employers were obliged to report the harassment to the police and the union to take action to warn the defendant.
The deal in question, worth around €20m, involved the purchase by the pension fund of land to build office space near the Larnaca airport at a price reportedly several times the going market value.
The cross examination of the defendants was wrapped up on Wednesday and the court adjourned until November 20, when the closing arguments of the defence lawyers will be heard, before the court makes a ruling.