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Cyprus Property

Aristo case postponed to January

Aristo Developers CEO Theodoros Aristodemou

By Constantinos Psillides

THE highly-publicised trial of suspicious land zoning deals related to Aristo Developers was adjourned for January 12, 2015, following request by defence lawyers on Friday to be allowed more time to review the evidence.

The Paphos Criminal Court judge agreed to the adjournment due to a heavy workload, including a homicide case, adding that the trial will proceed on a daily basis when it resumes in January.

The prosecution lawyer told the court that defence lawyers have been provided with all the evidence as part of the exchange of documents’ process.

Aristo boss Theodoros Aristodemou, his wife and head of design Stavroulla (Roula) Aristodemou, draftsman Christos Solomonides and former municipal employee Savvas Savva had been charged with attempted money laundering, forgery, circulating a false document, conspiring to commit a misdemeanour, securing property registration through false pretences, abuse of power and obtaining property through false pretences.

While the initial charge had been “money laundering”, the prosecution changed it during yesterday’s hearing. Aristodemou’s lawyer, Giorgos Papaioannou, said that it was clear that the aim of the police was to include the money laundering charge – the most serious of charges the defendants faced – during the investigation so that they could have his client remanded and ridiculed.

“Now they tell us they want to change the charge to ‘attempt’,” said the lawyer.

The former Paphos municipal employee is also charged with accepting a bribe and abusing authority.

All four defendants were released on condition that they each signed a €100,000 bail, that they hand in their travel documents and are placed on a stop list preventing overseas travel.

The Aristo case came to light in May, after it emerged that the plans regarding the demarcation of 177 plots in the Skali area in Paphos 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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