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Cyprus

AG won’t prosecute journos over leaked state attorney’s emails

Attorney-general Costas Clerides is due to retire soon. There is speculation that former justice minister Ionas Nicolaou will replace him

Attorney-general Costas Clerides announced on Tuesday there will be no prosecutions against journalists over the publication of leaked emails belonging to a senior state attorney.

“After studying the findings of the investigation, the attorney-general judged that under the circumstances of the case in question, it is not in the public interest to prosecute anyone,” a written statement said.

Two separate probes had been launched in November following the publication of the hacked emails by daily Politis, which found them on a Russian website.

The emails showed Loizidou’s excessive zeal in pursuing extradition requests against Russian nationals, some politically motivated, by the prosecutor-general of the Russian Federation.

Loizidou, who was suspended pending the investigation, sought and was granted an injunction prohibiting the paper from publishing the emails. She also sued Politis claiming that it had violated her privacy.

A disciplinary probe later found that she could be liable for dumping her laptop abroad without securing its contents and for using her personal email for official business.

A separate investigation was carried out into the publication and republication of the emails by the media, prompting a reaction from journalists.

Clerides said the case in question raised two kinds of public interest – one was safeguarding personal communications and the other was the public’s right to be informed.

“Weighing the two… and after taking into account the relevant national and European case law, as well as more general legal principles, the attorney-general judged it would not serve the public interest if he launched a criminal prosecution,” the statement said.

Clerides reiterated that taking statements from the journalists involved was not tantamount to prosecution and everyone was obliged to assist the investigation.

“No one is exempted from this duty since no one is above the law, apart from the cases where immunity is provided for by the constitution.”

 



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