Cyprus Mail

MPs willing to have immunity lifted

By Evie Andreou

THE Legal Services are considering the possibility of lifting the parliamentary immunity two deputies implicated in the Paphos sewerage board’s financial irregularities by the town’s former mayor Savvas Vergas.

The two MPs, EDEK deputy Fidias Sarikas and AKEL’s Andreas Fakontis have denied any involvement in the affair and had both asked that their immunity be lifted so that a fair investigation could be carried out that they say would absolve them of any blame.

The reply to their offer from the Legal Services was that an MP does not have the right to renounce his or her immunity.

According to the Cyprus News Agency, a Legal Services source said that some evidence has been revealed but that they need to further investigate the claims before any request to lift the deputies’ immunity.

Sarikas, who was Vergas’ predecessor at the helm of both the Paphos municipality and the Paphos sewerage board (PSB) from 1997 to 2006, had said that he was unaware of the details of Vergas’ claims against him, while Fakontis who was a municipal councilman and PSB board member from 1996 to 2006, too had denied Vergas’ allegations and said that the former mayor lied in revenge for exposing the corruption.

Vergas, the head of the sewerage board Eftychios Malekkides, former DISY municipal councillor Giorgos Michaelides and former DIKO councillor Efstathios Efstathiou are currently being held in custody, while investigations are well under way since everyday new evidence is being discovered, and police do not rule out further arrests.

According to what has been heard in court so far, the four suspects were asking for bribes from contractors to favour them in tender bids for the construction of the town’s sewerage system and for their support so that projects run smoothly.

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