Cyprus Mail
Crime Cyprus

Waste scandal architects still untouched, Paphos mayor says

Paphos Mayor Phedonas Phedonos reiterated on Saturday that the masterminds behind the waste management scandal had not yet been touched, making special reference to a lawyer who held a senior public post at the time.

“He played a leading role in a meeting between certain state officials and the chairman of Helector Leonidas Bobolas,” Phedonos told state broadcaster CyBC, but did not name the lawyer.

It is understood that the person in question held a post in the Tassos Papadopoulos administration, 2003-2008.

Helector is a Greek company, part of Ellaktor SA, a multinational Greek construction group. Bobolas, a Greek national, is currently fighting an arrest warrant issued by Cypriot authorities in connection with the scandal involving two waste management facilities in Paphos and Larnaca, which has so far seen 12 suspects indicted.

“The architects of the scandal are not yet in the cadre of suspects,” Phedonos said.

According to Phedonos, the lawyer had been instrumental in setting up the scheme in 2003.

The Paphos mayor said he would be providing police with additional testimony about the case. He added that police knew some of the facts but not all.

According to Phedonos, his predecessor, Savvas Vergas, was also involved in the case.

Vergas, currently doing a six-year stretch in jail for his involvement in the sewerage board scandal, was used by prosecutors as a witness in a case against municipal councillors also implicated in the sewerage scandal.

Because of this, Phedonos said, the authorities stopped their investigation against him thus failing to discover huge amounts of cash in accounts in Greece and Austria that would have eventually led them to uncover more scandals.

Police spokesman Andreas Angelides said Phedonos’ statements had been assessed and specific actions had been undertaken.

Angelides declined to provide more details because of the ongoing legal procedures.

Phedonos, who played a part in unravelling the affair in the first place, claimed that as much as €3mln may have been given as bribes to officials to go along with the scheme, which involved inflating the waste volumes and overcharging. The police estimate of the backhanders, so far, is just over €1mln.

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