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Cyprus

Authorities to request MP’s immunity lifted

Fidias Sarikas

The attorney-general was expected on Tuesday to ask the Supreme Court to lift an EDEK MP’s immunity so that he can be questioned in connection with the Paphos sewerage board scandal.

Fidias Sarikas had already given his consent and has denied any involvement while his was mayor of the coastal town.

Sarikas has been accused by another suspect of receiving bribes during construction of the first phase of the project.

Meanwhile, police were expected to release an AKEL municipal councillor detained for the same case.

Giorgos Shailis was arrested on Monday after he was named by a contractor involved in the construction of a waste treatment plant linked to the system.

Shailis was also arrested two weeks ago after he was named by former Paphos mayor Savvas Vergas, also in custody for the same case.

But a police remand request had been rejected by a court at the time due to lack of evidence.

Vergas, who resigned after the scandal broke out, is among five suspects held by police in connection with the case.

The others are sewerage board director Eftihios Malekkides, former municipal councillors Efstathios Efstathiou, DIKO, DISY’s Giorgos Michaelides, and AKEL’s Vasos Vasiliou.

It is believed that the suspects had conspired to charge extra – and unnecessary – work, sharing the spoils between them.

The sewerage project that Vergas, as chairman of the board, and Malekkides were handling, should have cost €78 million, but taxpayers have so far paid €109 million, with contractors claiming around €25 million more.

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