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Paphos sewerage board corruption trial draws to a close

Former Paphos mayor Fidias Sarikas

The corruption trial linked to the Paphos sewerage board (Sapa) came to an end on Wednesday with the criminal court set to announce its verdict on March 31.

The defendants in the trial are former mayor – and former MP with socialists Edek – Fidias Sarikas, former Paphos municipal councillors Giorgos Michaelides, Efstathios Efstathiou and Vasos Vasiliou, and sitting councillor Giorgos Shailis.

They face charges of receiving bribes from private contractors who won Sapa contracts.

Former Paphos mayor Savvas Vergas, and former Sapa director Eftyhios Malekkides have already pleaded guilty in the same case and are currently doing a six year stretch in jail.

The case relates to the dealings of the Paphos sewerage board, which is headed and run by the town’s local authorities.

According to investigators’ findings, kickbacks were paid out by private contractors to board members to secure construction and operation of waste-management contracts.

The five defendants are facing a total 58 charges.

Sarikas faces seven charges relating to Phase I of the Sapa project between 1999 and 2003.

According to the prosecution, while serving as mayor, Sarikas received the sum of €55,000 to arrange for Awatech, a German company bidding for contracts, to secure the job of constructing and operating the treatment plant.

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