By Constantinos Psillides
Cyprus University of Technology (TEPAK) rector Elpida Keravnou lashed out on Tuesday against reports blaming her over forged letters of credit allegedly provided by contractors who lease their buildings to the institute for rates much higher than the market value.
In an open letter, the rector invited anyone who has proof against her to step forward and hand it over to authorities, pointing out that she was the one who requested of the Auditor General to look into the contracts signed by TEPAK and the contractors.
The rector was responding to reports claiming that she was the one behind the shady deals. “This is an attempt at dragging my name through the mud,” said the rector, expressing certainty that “authorities will see the case through and punish those responsible.”
Keravnou also argued she officially requested an investigation into the case in 2010.
Two suspects are currently in custody in connection with the case: Zenon Achillides, head of TEPAK’s property management service, and a 51-year-old contractor who were remanded in custody last week. The contractor, two of whose companies had undertaken work on two university buildings, was arrested two weeks ago on arrival at Paphos airport.
The two are expected to appear in court again on Wednesday.
According to reports, three forged letters of credit were found in the contractor’s company’s file at TEPAK’s archives by the Audit Service.
He faces charges of conspiracy to commit a crime, forgery, circulating forged documents, bribing a civil servant, abuse of power and obtaining unlawful income from illegal activities.
Police had placed the suspects under arrest following a complaint filed by the TEPAK board and a report by Auditor-general Odysseas Michaelides.