By George Psyllides
A 73-YEAR-OLD Greek national will travel to Cyprus on Thursday to be questioned by authorities in relation with a political corruption scandal connected with Paphos’ sewerage system.
Authorities had issued a European arrest warrant for university professor Georgios Bafas in connection with the construction of the first phase of the town’s sewerage system.
The professor represented a German company involved in the construction of a waste treatment station.
His lawyer said Bafas had put himself at the disposal of Cypriot authorities from the first moment.
Police have so far charged six individuals in connection with the scandal.
The six defendants are former Paphos mayor Savvas Vergas, suspended SAPA director Eftychios Malekkides, former DISY municipal councillor Giorgos Michaelides, former DIKO councillor Efstathios Efstathiou, former AKEL councillor Vasos Vasiliou, and sitting AKEL councillor Giorgos Shailis.
They are facing charges of having conspired to extort money from private contractors awarded SAPA contracts among others.
Also suspected of being involved is EDEK MP Fidias Sarikas, who was Paphos mayor and chairman of the sewerage board between 1997 and 2006.
Sarikas was implicated in the case by Malekkides, who claimed that the EDEK MP and a former municipal councillor – who is now deceased – offered him money to award phase one of the contract to a company of their choosing.
Sarikas rejected the allegations but refused to waive his parliamentary immunity, despite a public appeal to the attorney-general earlier on to initiate the procedure.
His defence lawyer appeared before the Supreme Court and argued that there was not enough evidence to justify the move.
The next hearing is set for February 2.