The attorney-general on Tuesday withdrew the charges against 12 suspects implicated in the waste management scandal because he is planning to file a new charge sheet that will include three more individuals.
The case, tried by the Nicosia Criminal Court, concerns accusations that taxpayers had been overcharged by a Greek company, Helector, that used the cash to pay kickbacks to state and local authority officials.
The new charge sheet will include Theofanis Lolos – director of Enviroplan, a firm assigned by the interior ministry to oversee waste management projects in Paphos and Larnaca and served as a consultant.
The other two individuals who will be added to the charge sheet were not named in court.
Until the new one is issued, all suspects were released except for former Paphos Mayor Savvas Vergas and former Paphos sewerage board director Eftychios Malekides, who are currently serving time for receiving backhanders during construction of the town’s sewerage system.
Apart from Vergas and Malekides, prosecutors had charged Larnaca Mayor Andreas Louroudjiatis, Paphos municipality financial director Demetris Patsalides, interior ministry official Michalis Pantis, the person who oversaw works at the Koshi landfill; interior ministry officers Antonis Kourouzides, Stelios Papadopoulos, and Christakis Petrou, all members of the tenders committee; former interior ministry official Giorgos Koulappis; his son Nicos Koulappis; Jordanian civil engineer Ιmad Baqleh, an employee of the implicated company, Helector; and Demetris Yiannakopoulos, former director of Helector.
Lolos, a Greek national, was released on a €200,000 bail. His lawyer, Chris Triantafyllides, said Lolos intends to leave Cyprus and return to his home.
He would return once the new charge sheet was prepared and will include Enviroplan as well as a legal entity.
The case will heard at the Nicosia criminal court on June 15.
Helector is believed to have made about €40m through the scheme that the state will now try to get back through the EU Directorate-General for Competition.