By George Psyllides
There was more controversy regarding DIKO chairman Nicolas Papadopoulos on Friday, after a report that he had done work for the stock exchange (CSE), which had retained the services of the Tassos Papadopoulos law firm.
Daily Politis said that in 2012, Papadopoulos had taken part, on behalf of the CSE, in the preparation of legislation on mutual funds for which the firm was paid €80,000.
The bill was then passed by parliament after it was discussed by the House Finance Committee, which is chaired by Papadopoulos, on May 14 and 21, the daily said.
The firm responded by publishing a letter from CSE director Nondas Metaxas, which supposedly rubbished the newspaper’s allegations.
In his letter, Metaxas said Papadopoulos – an MP since 2006 and the Chairman of the House Finance Committee since 2009 — handled a different matter and not the mutual funds, which had been handled by his sister Anastasia.
Metaxas said the Tassos Papadopoulos law office was working with the CSE but it was Anastasia who handled the mutual funds legislation. The fee paid was €25,000 plus €3,750 VAT.
The law firm said the letter clearly refuted the “blatant lies” reported by Politis.
Metaxas said the other job given to the firm was the preparation of a study into Depositary Receipts, which was completed early in 2011 at a cost of €60,000 plus €9,000 VAT.
“This job was handled by Nicolas Papadopoulos on behalf of the office,” Metaxas said in his letter.
Metaxas added that the work constitutes a decision taken by the CSE board that is published in the Government Gazette following the approval of the securities and exchange commission (CySEC). Parliamentary approval was not required, he said.
The letter said the draft had been sent to CySEC for approval on April 6. Two meetings between the firm and CSE officials were then held on June 1 and June 20, 2011, to make the final amendments to the text.
Papadopoulos, who has been highly critical of President Nicos Anastasiades regarding his former law firm’s involvement with Ryanair during negotiations to acquire national carrier Cyprus Airways, has been taking flak for similar reasons in recent days.