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Cyprus

Landfill scandal case adjourned until next month

Larnaca Mayor Andreas Louroudjiatis (left) is among the accused

The high-profile waste disposal trial was adjourned until October 5 on Tuesday because one of the judges of the three-member Nicosia Criminal Court was absent.

In total, 16 defendants – including two mayors, one current, one former – have been indicted in relation to an overcharging scam by the company operating two landfills.

They – individuals and three companies – face 104 charges including conspiracy to defraud, bribery, abuse of power, breach of trust by a public official, conspiracy to commit a felony, money laundering, and obtaining money under false pretences.

The accused are: Larnaca Mayor Andreas Louroudjiatis; former Paphos mayor Savvas Vergas;  Demetrios Patsalides (municipal employee); Michalis Pantis, Stelios Papadopoulos, Christos Petrou (civil servants); Antonis Kourouzides, Georgios Koullapis, Demetrios Yiannakopoulos (pensioners); former head of the Paphos Sewerage Board Eftychios Malekides; Nicholas Koullapis (doctor); Imad Baqle (mechanical engineer); Enviroplan S.A.; Theofanis Lolos (chemical engineer); N.E Midoriaco Ltd; and Helector Cyprus Ltd.

Vergas and Malekides are currently doing a six-year prison stint for their involvement in the Paphos sewerage board corruption scandal.

Helector is the company at the centre of the waste management scandal.

As operator of the two landfills – one at Marathounda, Paphos, the other at Koshi, Larnaca – the company is alleged to have overcharged municipalities – and ultimately the taxpayer – by reporting higher waste volumes while public officials looked the other way in return for skimming off the top.

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