In a plea bargain, the heads of Nicosia and Larnaca generals’ ear, nose, and throat clinics, doctors Yiannakis Kyamides and Dafnis Aristodemou, will plead guilty to a number of counts of bribe-taking and corruption, in exchange for the scrapping by the state of other charges
Kyamides, who had been facing 188 counts in connection with bribery, money-laundering, corruption, and conspiracy, over the period from 2008-2016, agreed on Thursday to plead guilty to the corruption charges in exchange for the suspension of prosecution for conspiracy, money-laundering, and bribery charges.
In total, about 80 charges have been suspended.
Kyamides, his lawyer told the court, will also return the sum of €130,000, which he was accused of taking in bribes.
His trial will resume on April 24.
In a similar development, Aristodemou, who had been facing 20 counts similar to Kyamides’ for bribes taken from 2008 to 2011 to the tune of €3.000, also agreed to plead guilty to corruption in exchange for the rest of the charges to be lifted.
He, too, has pledged to return the money.
Aristodemou’s trial resumes on April 27.
The two doctors, along with Nicosia state hospital doctor Vasken Shahbenderian, 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 also granted €23,000 per hearing-aid implant but to be eligible, patients needed to have the approval of a state ENT, and the director.
Reportedly, patients were taking tests at a specific health centre and were then visiting Kyamides at the Nicosia General hospital, where he signed relevant approvals to authorise state aid for their treatment at the private clinic.