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EDEK MP referred to Criminal Court

Former Paphos mayor Fidias Sarikas

By Andria Kades

EDEK MP Fidias Sarikas was on Monday referred to trial before the criminal court for his role in the Paphos sewerage scandal. The trial is scheduled to begin on May 18.

Sarikas joined four other defendants –three former and one current municipal councillors.

Sarikas signed a €100,000 bail, as did former DISY municipal councillor Giorgos Michaelides, former DIKO councillor Efstathios Efstathiou and former AKEL councillor Vasos Vassiliou.

AKEL councillor Giorgos Shailis was given a €50,000 bail.

State prosecutor Xenia Xenofontos said she would enable Sarikas to exercise all his responsibilities as an MP, allowing him to travel abroad under orders from the Attorney General.

The other four can also leave the country, provided they could prove they had to be abroad and received permission to do so.

Defence attorneys did not object to the terms.

Sarikas faces charges of corruption, receiving bribes, money laundering, abuse of power, obtaining money under false pretences and conspiracy to commit felony and misdemeanour during his time as Paphos mayor, from 1997 to 2006.

He is accused of receiving bribes to arrange for a German company to be awarded a contract to build a waste management plant in 2000.

Michaelides faces 25 charges, Efstathiou 12, Vassiliou six, and Shailis eight.

Former Paphos mayor Savvas Vergas and the head of the sewerage board Eftychios Malekides were jailed last year for six years after they pleaded guilty to bribery and money laundering, offences committed during construction of the sewerage system between 1999 and 2014.

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