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Cyprus

Loizidou probe findings sent to attorney-general

Attorney-general Costas Clerides said corruption is rife in the civil service

Attorney-general Costas Clerides said on Friday he has sent the findings of the probe into suspended state attorney Eleni Loizidou to a private lawyer to ensure the objectivity and impartiality of the procedure.

Clerides said in an announcement that he received the findings of the probe on Thursday from Demetrios Hadjicosti who was appointed by the cabinet to carry out the probe into Loizidou’s use of a personal email account for official business.

The law provides in such cases that the report is handed over by the investigating official to the AG for advice as to whether the public servant may be charged. In the case of an affirmative opinion, Clerides said, the AG also rules on the relevant charges.

But due to his particular position in this case, Clerides said, “the AG has delegated his representation for a ruling and advice on the possibility of charges to a private lawyer, Mr Chr. Christakis, to ensure the objectivity and impartiality of the entire procedure”.

The disciplinary probe was requested by Clerides, after thousands of work-related emails sent from and to the personal Gmail account of Loizidou, a senior attorney in charge of extraditions service, were made public by a Russian website, after her account was hacked, and reproduced by the daily Politis last November.

The emails indicated eagerness on the part of Loizidou in pursuing extradition requests against Russian nationals submitted by the Russian Federation’s prosecutor-general. When the emails were made public, she was first moved to another department of the state legal services by the attorney-general, but was subsequently suspended pending the probe.

Loizidou is suing Politis seeking damages of between €500,000 and €2m, claiming that the newspaper violated her right to privacy and the law on the protection of personal data.

The Nicosia district court last month granted an injunction request by Loizidou, prohibiting Politis from publishing contents from her email account until the hearing of the lawsuit or until another court order was issued.

 

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