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Cyprus

Corrupt official gets an extra 15 months jail time

The Helector run waste-management plant at Koshi

Convicted former Paphos sewerage board director Eftychios Malikkides was handed an additional 15 months in prison on Wednesday after admitting to taking bribes from a waste management company.

Malikkides, who was also the technical adviser for the project, admitted to taking €165,000 from Helector to help the company collect its dues.

As operator of two landfills – one at Marathounda, Paphos, the other at Koshi, Larnaca – Helector is alleged to have overcharged municipalities – and ultimately the taxpayer – by reporting higher waste volumes while public officials looked the other way in return for skimming off the top.

Malikkides is already doing six years for his involvement in the Paphos sewerage scandal.

He admitted that he received €165,000, through former Paphos Mayor Savvas Vergas who also doing time for the sewerage scandal, to assist in repaying the arrears of the Paphos landfill to Helector. He told the court he kept €45,000 and gave the rest of the money to other persons.

On Wednesday, Malikkides was sentenced to 15 months for bribery and 12 months for money extortion. The sentences will run concurrently, but in addition to the six years, he is doing for his earlier conviction.

Judge Leonidas Kalogirou said these were very serious offences, indicating that the defendant was involved in “a vicious circle of corruption taking advantage the trust of the state”.

The court took his admission into account as well as his intention to return the money.

Vergas pleaded guilty in the same case and was sentenced to two years in jail in addition to six he was doing for his involvement in the Paphos sewerage scandal.

They were among 16 individuals, including former Larnaca mayor Andreas Louroudjiatis, and companies indicted in relation with the alleged scam.

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Source: Cyprus News Agency

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