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Cyprus Health

ENT doctor’s trial postponed until January

Nicosia court

Hearings in the trial of Dafnis Aristodemou, chief of ENT at the Larnaca General hospital, who is facing charges of taking bribes from a private ear clinic to refer patients to them from 2008 to 2011, will start January 16, 2017, the Nicosia Criminal court ordered on Monday.

Aristodemou was arrested in May, after the clinic filed a complaint with police and presented five cheques for the sum of €2.685, which the doctor either was handed in person or had mailed to him.

The clinic’s three directors claimed that Aristodemou, along with two other state doctors, received a total €143.000 over three years up to 2011.

According to the complaint, the officials took advantage of government schemes funding ear treatments and implants, provided that they are recommended by state doctors.

Upon assuming the duties of chief at the Larnaca general department, Aristodemou initiated contact with the clinic, through phone calls and personal visits, asking to be paid kickbacks for directing people with hearing problems to the clinic.

He allegedly demanded money for each referral, as well as a piece from the government subsidies on ear treatments.

Aristodemou is facing 20 charges, including taking bribes and money-laundering.

The court said that, due to its heavy workload until year’s end, by when cases from 2015 need to be tackled, hearings cannot start until January.

The defendant was released under terms, which included posting bail, handing in his travel documents, appearing at the Lykavitos police station once a week, and adding his name to the stop-list.

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