Nicosia general hospital executive director and chief of the ear, nose and throat (ENT) clinic Yiannakis Kyamides on Monday pleaded not guilty to 188 counts of bribery-related offences.
Kyamides is accused of bribe-taking and money-laundering in connection with patient referrals to a private ear clinic, in exchange for a ‘commission’ on each patient referred.
He is said to have been embroiled in a series of similar incidents from 2008 to 2016 for a total of €130,000 in bribes.
Hearings have been scheduled to start on March 27, with Kyamides released on bail and banned from leaving the country.
ENT doctor at Nicosia general Vasken Shahbenderian, facing 100 counts of similar charges from 2010 to 2014, for bribes of €13,000, is scheduled to appear before court on March 21.
ENT chief at Larnaca general Dafnis Aristodemou, up for 20 counts of bribery totalling €3,000 from 2008 to 2011, is due in court on January 16.
The suspects were allegedly taking advantage of the state’s policy of subsidising various programmes for people suffering with hearing problems.
Specifically, for people who were born deaf, the state paid a €2,730 subsidy every four years and for pensioners over 65, €175 every four years.
The state granted €23,000 per implant but to be eligible, patients needed to have the approval of a state ENT doctor and the director.