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Cyprus

Ministry official pleads guilty in landfill scandal

Interior ministry official Christakis Petrou on Wednesday pled guilty to taking kickbacks by waste-management company Helector Cyprus.

Petrou is the third defendant in the bribery scandal involving the awarding of contracts for the Paphos and Koshi landfills to plead guilty, following former Paphos mayor Savvas Vergas and Helector’s former CEO Demetris Giannakopoulos.

Petrou, who sat on the ministry’s tenders-review committee, pled guilty to being bribed by Helector with €3,000, through Giannakopoulos’ successor Ioannis Kokotsis, in order to treat Helector’s bid favourably.

Following his guilty plea, the prosecution suspended charges of fraud by a civil servant and money laundering against him.

Petrou’s defence lawyer will argue for mitigation on June 7.

In addition to Petrou, Vergas, and Giannakopoulos, 13 others are defendants in the trial over kickbacks concerning the Koshi and Paphos landfills.

They are former Larnaca mayor Andreas Louroudjiatis, former Paphos Sewerage Board (Sapa) director Eftichios Malekkides, civil servants Michalis Pantis and Stelios Papadopoulos, pensioners Antonis Kourouzides and Georgios Koullapis, municipal employee Demetrios Patsalides, doctor Nicolas Koullapis, engineer Imad Bagle, chemical engineer Theofanis Lolos, and companies Enviroplan, Helector Cyprus, and Midoriaco Ltd.

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