The Larnaca District Court on Wednesday rejected previously convicted Larnaca businessman Antonis Fanieros’ motion to restore his political rights so that he can run in May’s parliamentary election.
Fanieros had applied to the court on February 23 asking for his criminal record expunged, claiming he wanted to represent the people “without party expediencies”.
“We need an independent voice that will be guided by the best interests of ordinary people,” Fanieros said in a statement accompanying the motion.
But the court ruled that it has no jurisdiction over the case and dismissed it, urging Fanieros to file his request with the Supreme Court.
Speaking to reporters after the hearing, Fanieros voiced disappointment over the ruling and said he plans to apply to the Supreme Court, and, if necessary, the European Court of Human Rights.
He promised that, if elected, he will divert all his earnings as deputy to poor and destitute children.
Fanieros, 72, has two convictions – one in 1986, for inciting a crime, for which he was jailed for four years.
In 2001, Fanieros was sentenced to five years in jail for his part in a scam to cash £143,000 (€244,000) worth of someone else’s shares.
The attorney-general filed an objection to his request, and the court said the law doesn’t allow for the expunging of sentences longer than four years.
However, the court did approve the request to strike off the 1986 conviction.
Making his case, Fanieros argued that since his release on a presidential pardon for the 2001 conviction, he has incurred no further sentences.
He told the court that in the last few years he has helped anyone in need, and that due to his social and political beliefs he was encouraged to run for parliament so that he could make a contribution to the country.