A COURT case against the entire Paphos municipal council and the mayor was postponed on Monday due to the ill health of a local businessman, the owner of a marble factory, who has brought the action.
According to one of the defendants, Andreas Chrysanthou, a Paphos councillor, the action has been postponed until May 22, when the council and the mayor, Phedonas Phedonos, will have to appear. Failing to do so will mean that pending arrest warrants for a number of councillors and Phedonos will be enacted, he said.
“The case had to be changed to another date as the main witness, Polys Potatos, is unwell and therefore nothing can proceed without him,” said Chrysanthou, speaking from Nicosia district court.
Phedonas and some of the councillors did not appear in court on Monday and the judge threatened to issue arrest warrants if they failed to show at the next court hearing.
The entire Paphos council, along with the mayor, were formally charged last year, on 29 counts relating to the destruction of a wall in Paphos. They have all pleaded not guilty. Paphos municipality and the contractor who undertook the work are also facing charges.
The legal action was brought by Patatos, the owner of a Paphos marble factory which adjoined the Markideio Theatre in Paphos.
He alleges that the tearing down of a wall, which he says is part of his property, by the Paphos municipality as part of the upgrading works on the theatre and its outside space, is illegal and caused malicious damage.
The defendants are facing charges relating to trespassing onto a property with the intent to cause a crime, causing unlawful damage to property, and conspiracy of undertaking these actions. All the defendants each had to sign a €2,000 bail bond in June 2016.
The case is part of a long-running battle between Patatos and the municipality over three pieces of Turkish Cypriot owned land which he was using. In the past Patatos secured an injunction on two pieces of the land which prevented any action to be taken at the site by Paphos municipality, as part of the upgrading works. This was subsequently cancelled, after the court found that he was operating on the land without lawfully having the two plots ‘in his possession’.
However, the businessman also legally leases a third piece of Turkish Cypriot owned land, which is licensed by the ministry of the interior, and this is where the wall was situated.