Cyprus Mail

Attempt to link Tassos to waste scandal ‘reprehensible’, Papadopoulos centre says

The late Tassos Papadopoulos

The Tassos Papadopoulos Research Centre on Sunday slammed a report in Politis linking the late Cypriot president and close aides of his at the time to Greek businessmen implicated in the ongoing Helector waste scandal.

The former president’s son and DIKO leader Nicolas Papadopoulos blamed ruling DISY, tweeting shortly afterwards that the party was resorting “to old and well-known tactics”.

The Politis story references comments by Paphos Mayor Phedonas Phedonos, who uncovered the scandal, that the masterminds behind it had not yet been found, though 12 people, including a mayor and former mayor have been charged.

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 was 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.

The Politis story on Sunday went beyond the mayor’s comments, linking Papadopoulos, who was elected president in 2003, with Bobolas and with alleged meetings in Athens and in Cyprus.

The Tassos Papadopoulos Research Centre in a written statement, cited in Politis and reported on CyBC, called the newspaper’s report “slanderous and malicious”.

“Tassos Papadopoulos has never had any relationship with or involvement in any scandal,” it said.

The statement said the “desperate attempt by Politis and DISY member, Paphos Mayor Phedonos, to tarnish the memory of Papadopoulos “and reap petty benefits, is reprehensible and immoral, especially considering that a deceased person cannot defend himself”.

It accused the paper of using misleading headlines and unsubstantiated conclusions based only on unsupported speculation, false, anonymous, malicious and vague allegations and numerous inaccuracies and gossip, “which are categorically rejected by the facts”, and also by two associates of the former president that the paper mentioned in connection with the allegations, with whom it spoke, and who categorically denied the allegations, it added.

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