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Cyprus

Ousted OSEL board member reappoints himself

Buses stranded at Arediou station (Christos Theodorides)

Tasos Michaelides, a major shareholder in the scandal-rocked Nicosia bus company OSEL, on Thursday re-appointed himself to the board of the company hours after shareholders moved to oust him.

On Thursday, the board of OSEL released a statement, announcing that a general meeting of shareholders had voted unanimously to throw Michaelides off the company board.

They accused Michaelides of acting against the company’s interests and causing it financial damage.

“OSEL will patiently await the court process on February 22 which will hear OSEL’s application concerning Tasos Michaelides’ disobedience of a court order.”

Back in November, a court ordered Michaelides to hand over the fleet at a passenger service station, but he did not comply.

But in a statement of his own, hours later, Michaelides brushed off his dismissal.

Citing a clause in the company’s charter, Michaelides said that as a founding shareholder he retains the right to appoint one of the eight board members.

In addition, the shareholders’ decision was taken in his absence, while the company charter stipulates that no seat on the board may remain vacant.

“Therefore, I have appointed Tasos Michaelides as a member of the board, to be my replacement,” he said.

“These tactics [the attempt to remove him from the board] are the culmination of a blatant attempt to block my access to OSEL files, so that they can keep me away from information implicating them in serious criminal offences.”

Michaelides went on to allege that the company’s chairman Iordanis Iordanous and the vice-chairman Kyriacos Kyriacou “are indictees, and are facing serious charges in court.”

Michaelides has for months been at odds with other company shareholders, claiming mismanagement of funds by the company.

He alleges that the company was cooking the books, cheating the state over fuel and bus maintenance costs and bribing officials.

The dispute led Michaelides to order shut the Arediou bus terminal. In November last year, he blocked the Arediou terminal with buses while a member of his family dug a trench around a number of buses in the same area to prevent the company from retrieving them.

The company subsequently opened another terminal in Ergates.

In the same month, members of ‘rival’ factions in OSEL came to blows.

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