Cyprus Mail

DIKO describes main rival parties of ‘champions of corruption’

DIKO leader Nicolas Papadopoulos accused the two big parties of cover ups during a row over the appointment of an assistant tax commissioner

By Constantinos Psillides

DIKO leader Nicolas Papadopoulos shot at both AKEL and DISY on Wednesday, saying they were “champions of corruption” and cover ups during a row over the appointment of an assistant tax commissioner.

Papadopoulos’ comments came only a day after he publicly condemned the appointment of Anastasia Akkidou as assistant tax commissioner, claiming that she had links with an audit firm under investigation in connection with party funding from Focus Maritime Corporation, owned by Greek shipowner Michalis Zolotas who is believed to be linked to former Laiki strongman Andreas Vgenopoulos.

Reports said Focus paid €500,000 directly to DISY in ten instalments of €50,000 in January and February of 2008, and almost €1.5m to AKEL – of which €1m was paid through offshore
Abendale Management Corporation in two equal instalments in September 2007, and €450,000 in June 2008 through Kyprianides, Nicolaou &Associates.

The firm has denied any wrongdoing, claiming that the money was paid for services rendered.

AKEL flatly denied having received any money from Focus, while DISY only acknowledged receipt of €50,000, which it returned to legacy Laiki.

Papadopoulos also claimed that AKEL and DISY conspired so that any investigation regarding Vgenopoulos was put on hold and that the two parties used a warning letter from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi as a pretext to freeze a probe into Central Bank Governor Chrystalla Georghadji.

Papadopoulos also alleged that the two parties were working together to stall an investigation on the sale of Cyprus banks’ branches in Greece and an investigation on the Focus case.

“All of this is the result of the Christofias’ and Anastasiades’ administrations. It is because of this that as a country we have lost the trust of foreign investors and the trust of the people, who realised that they live in absolute chaos,” said the DIKO leader.

AKEL general secretary Andros Kyprianou dismissed Papadopoulos’ accusations, saying: “It would be a great joke, had the situation not been so tragic.”

DISY chief Averof Neophytou said he would not grace Papadopoulos’ comments with a response, adding that what was important was that the country turned the page. Neophytou also noted that even if the firm Akkidou has ties to was found at fault, that did not extend to everyone working for them.

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