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Cyprus

Court rules case stands against Paphos land developer

Theodoros Aristodemou

The Paphos Criminal Court ruled on Thursday there is a prima facie case against prominent developer Theodoros Aristodemou and three others, including his wife, in connection with a land zoning case.

However, the court acquitted Aristodemou, wife Roulla, and former municipal engineer Savvas Savva of attempted money laundering charges.

The three, along with Aristo Developers designer Christos Solomonides, have been charged in connection with the demarcation of land in Skali, Paphos.

The charges include forgery, circulation of a forged document, conspiracy, abuse of authority, and obtaining property under false pretences.

“There were no proceeds, as defined in the law, and because of this the (money laundering) charge is rejected and all defendants are acquitted,” the court said.

The company was granted a permit for 177 plots but this was allegedly falsified later by replacing the approved architectural plans with amended ones, which ceded the company an additional area of some 2,730 square metres for development at the expense of the legally mandated green space and road network.

The land was estimated to be worth around €1.1 million.

The accused must now present their defence. They have three choices: remain silent, testify under oath and face cross examination, or give a statement from the dock without cross examination.

The only choice essentially taken into consideration by the court is the sworn testimony.

Either way they can call defence witnesses to back their case.

The next hearing was scheduled for May 7.

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