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Guilty verdict for serial speeder and former Disy MP

Former DISY MP Andreas Themistocleous outside the court with his wife during an earlier court hearing

Former Disy MP Andreas Themistocleous was found guilty on Wednesday by Nicosia district court for two counts of speeding and for violating a traffic signal.

Final arguments will be heard on October 13 and the sentence passed later.

Speaking to reporters after court, Themistocleous said he fully respected the decision that found him guilty of three charges but said he would be appealing the case.

Last year, the supreme court lifted his parliamentary immunity so that he could be tried for speeding offences which took place on April 4, 2015 when he was caught driving his car at a speed of 172 km/h – 72km over the legal limit.

On February 12, 2015 he was caught doing 170km/h, 141km/h on October 14, 2014, and 91km/h in a 50km/h zone on July 10, 2014 where he also faced charges for violating a traffic signal – the white continuous line in the middle of the road.

He was found guilty for speeding on two occasions and for violating a traffic signal.

It appeared Themistocleous had made matters worse for himself when stopped by officers as he had apparently displayed inappropriate behaviour.

Police reports indicated that on numerous occasions, he had invoked his parliamentary immunity when told he would be charged.

“We think that the behaviour, words and deeds, attributed to the defendant, leaves no room for different treatment,” other than to lift his immunity, the supreme court said at the time.

Police also cited traffic offences between 1993 and 2011, and 21 between 2003 and 2015.

Ironically, on February 1 last year, he was caught speeding on the way to court where the case against his speeding offences was being heard.

He was driving at 139 km/h on the Limassol-Nicosia highway near Kofinou at around 11am but paid the fine of €78 on the spot and also got two penalty points on his driving licence.

Attorney General Costas Clerides had requested detailed records of the former Limassol MP after various reports of Themistocleous being a serial offender were published in the press as well as a police report saying he had been driving 72km/h over the legal limit with a speed of 172km/h.

“Reviewing and evaluating the evidence, a very large number of convictions and fines against the MP was revealed, mainly relating to speeding, among other instances, with 141, 170, and even up to 190 km/h,” Clerides said.

“Further, police reports also indicated that, on numerous occasions, the deputy behaved inappropriately towards the police officers, invoking his parliamentary immunity when told he would be charged.”

Themistocleous had defended himself saying his only crime was speeding, and that there were other people who had done much worse and were still walking around freely.

“I have a two-and-a-half-year-old daughter. When she grows up and starts to learn, ask, and read about her father’s political course and action, I want to be certain, and I am, that the only thing she will find that her father did to harm the country were his traffic violations,” he said.

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