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Crime Cyprus

Town planning fire reports exaggerated, minister says

A fire at the archives of the town planning department had been blown out of proportion by the media, Interior Minister Socratis Hasicos said on Friday, stressing that no files were lost and none of those affected were linked to scandals.

“You exaggerate and sometimes make a mountain out of a molehill,” the minister told reporters, urging them “to be more careful when reporting the news and not exaggerate the facts.”

The fire broke out on Thursday morning and reports said a number of files had been destroyed. Authorities said it had been set deliberately, leading to speculation that someone was trying to destroy incriminating evidence.

“Also, they have nothing to do with scandals or investigations into scandals,” the minister said.

Hasicos said none of the 150 files affected were destroyed. The cover was damaged in 50 but their contents could still be read.

He reiterated that the majority of the files were digitised.

“Town planning can find and replace any documents missing from a file,” he said.

More damage was caused by the water used to put out the fire, he said, but experts were working on rescuing the documents as they had done with files affected by floods at the land registry in Larnaca.

The damage caused by the fire was under €5,000.

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