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Municipal worker denies wrongdoing in ‘unwanted’ Paphos road signs

A former Paphos municipality worker denied on Friday he had abused his position to approve road signs worth over €300,000 that the local authority did not need.

Christos Georgiou told Paphos district court he was not guilty of abusing his office between 2006 and 2012 in his capacity as an employee at the municipality’s accounts office and then as an internal auditor.

According to the Cyprus News Agency, the infamous Paphos road sign scam has seen charges filed against a total of seven persons.

They are accused of conspiring to commit a felony, forgery and circulation of forged documents, obtaining money under false pretences, theft, abuse of power and abuse of trust.

The case relates to orders placed for road signs without the approval of the municipal council.

Georgiou and another three of his former municipal colleagues – Savvas Savva, a former civil engineer, Themis Filippides, municipal secretary, and Demetris Patsalides, former financial director – denied the charges.

They have been released on a €50,000 bail and their hearing will resume on September 20.

The court heard that Georgiou, in the span of six years from 2006, approved payments to manufacture road signs, as well as the material that would be used, without approval.

The signs were intended for bus stops and parking spots.

The case was reported to the authorities two years ago, following an investigation by Paphos town hall.

Christos Ioannou, manager of Etna sign company, and Soteris Antoniades, manager of Alma sign company, as well as municipal worker Andreas Nicolaou – who is already serving jail for a separate offence – will be tried at Paphos criminal court on September 14.

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