Cyprus Mail

Vergas, three others, to be charged for threatening texts

Former Paphos mayor Savvas Vergas

Paphos mayor Savvas Vergas and three others will be charged in writing in connection with threatening text messages sent to witnesses in a suspicious land zoning case involving a prominent developer.

The decision was taken on Friday during a meeting at the state legal service.

The four face charges relating to conspiracy to commit felony, issuing threats, and interference in judicial proceedings. The case will be submitted at the district court.

The mayor was arrested earlier in October in connection with threatening text messages sent to four people, including himself.

Two of the recipients were witnesses in a land zoning case involving Aristo Developers boss Theodoros Aristodemou. Threatening texts were also sent to a journalist.

The other three suspects are Vergas’ close associate Maria Solomonidou, who owned the phone used to send the messages, her husband Constantinos Sifantos, and her father Elias Solomonides.

Police had initially detained Solomonidou, her husband, and her father, in connection with the messages.

It later transpired that Vergas had bought the mobile phone used to send the messages, a fact he did not deny.

The mayor claimed he bought the phone for Solomonidou who was responsible, among other things, for handling the municipality’s social media accounts.

During questioning, Vergas told police that he was at the town hall when he received the threatening message but authorities determined that Solomonidou and the mayor were at the same location when the messages were sent.

Her father sought to shoulder the blame but police were not convinced.

Solomonidou is the sister of Aristo Developers designer Christos Solomonides, arrested along with his boss, the latter’s wife Roulla Aristodemou, 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.

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