Cyprus Mail

Former minister files suit against outspoken Paphos mayor

Paphos mayor Phedonas Phedonos

Embattled Paphos mayor Phedonas Phedonos will appear before court on September 30, following a lawsuit filed against him by lawyer Andreas Demetriades, formerly legal advisor to the Paphos municipality for almost 30 years.

Demetriades, father of Transport Minister Marios Dmetriades, served as justice minister from 1980 to 1982, in the Spyros Kyprianou administration and as Diko deputy from 1985 to 1991.

In 1986, his law firm was appointed legal advisors to the Paphos municipality, a commission ended in 2015, after Phedonos was elected mayor.

Demetriades claimed that Phedonos in a deposition to police last March falsely named him as being involved in the Paphos waste-management scam, along with the municipality’s financial controller Demetris Patsalides, and former mayor Savvas Vergas, currently serving a six-year prison term for bribe-taking.

The lawyer told the Cyprus News Agency that he did what any honest and law-abiding Cypriot would do to protect his honour and dignity, which “some, deliberately and without any real or legal fact, attempted to assault”.

In response, Phedonos said in a statement that he will not be silenced.

“No private lawsuit, no libel suit, no threat, and no intimidation, has stopped me, nor will stop me, from saying what I believed, and continue to believe, to be the truth,” Phedonos said.

The mayor added that Demetriades filed a complaint with the Paphos CID but was told that no criminal offence against Phedonos could be substantiated and closed the case.

“But despite the fact that his claims were deemed groundless, Mr Demetriades opted for a private lawsuit,” Fedonos said.

These are the facts, and they speak for themselves, he added.

Last month, the feud between the two men seemed to spill over to other issues, as Phedonos brought the elder Demetriades into a public argument he was having with the transport minister.

In response to remarks by the minister on Phedonos’ claims of civil servants selling antiquities in the black market, in which he deemed the Paphos mayor a “slanderer”, Fedonos hit back in a statement referencing Andreas Demetriades’ nearly thirty-year stint as legal advisor to the municipality.

“Had it not been for ‘slanderers’, the former Paphos mayor, whose lawyer your father was, would still have been mayor,” Fedonos said.

“One would expect that you would have made sure my claims are investigated, instead of expecting me to investigate them.”

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