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Paphos sewerage scandal pre-trial motions to be examined next week

Fidias Sarikas

Pre-trial motions filed by the lawyers of EDEK MP Fidias Sarikas and AKEL municipal councillor Giorgos Shailis for their role in the Paphos sewerage scandal will be examined by the Paphos Criminal Court on September 24.

Both face corruption charges in relation with contracts for the town’s sewerage system, along with tree other defendants, DIKO’s former councillor Efstathios Efstathiou, DISY’s Yiorgos Michaelides and AKEL’s Vasos Vasiliou.

Efstathiou, Vasiliou and Michaelides pled not guilty earlier in the year and their trial was set for September 24.

Sarikas faces charges of corruption, receiving bribes, money laundering, abuse of power, obtaining money under false pretences and conspiracy to commit felony 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.

Sarikas’ and Shailis’ defence lawyers have asked for the removal of their clients from the charge sheet that included the other three defendants.

Shailis’ lawyer also told the court that the charge sheet did not specify the place where some of the alleged bribery offences had taken place.

Four of the defendants are free on a €100,000 bail except for Shailis, whose bail was set at €50,000.

They have also surrendered their travel documents and their names have been added to a list of people banned from leaving the country.

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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