By George Psyllides
The evidence linked with the Paphos sewerage board corruption case was not at risk, Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou said on Monday, after the European Court cancelled the directive concerning the disclosure of communication data.
Nicolaou said lifting confidentiality of communication data was also regulated by Cyprus’ constitution.
People have expressed concerns after a defendant in another Paphos-related case, has filed an appeal at the Supreme Court asking for the court order that allowed authorities to access his data to be dismissed.
The Supreme Court allowed the appeal to be heard on the premise that the EU directive, which Cyprus has also transposed into law, has been deemed void.
Nicolaou said Cypriot legislation on the matter was not only based on the EU directive. The capability of accessing communication data was also regulated by the constitution, he said.
The case in question concerns threatening texts sent to two witnesses in a land zoning case involving prominent Paphos developer Theodoros Aristodemou.
Four people, including former Paphos mayor Savvas Vergas have been charged in connection with the case.
The other three are Vergas’ former close associate Maria Solomonidou, her husband, Constantinos Sifantos – who filed the appeal – and her father Elias.
The four face 11 charges including conspiracy to commit felony, threatening, and intervening in judicial proceedings.
But the case could collapse if the Supreme Court rules in Sifantos’ favour, as the authorities will not be allowed to present the communication data in court.
The charges relate to a suspected land-demarcation fraud (separate) case in Skali, Paphos.
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 Developers.
Authorities have charged Aristodemou, wife Roulla, former municipal engineer Savvas Savva, and Aristo designer Christos Solomonides, Maria’s brother, in connection with the case.
By George Psyllides