Cyprus Mail

Tepak defendants plead not guilty

Seven defendants plead not guilty on Tuesday in connection with an EU fund misappropriation scandal implicating people linked to the Limassol-based technical university (Tepak).

The eighth defendant in the case, a professor, has plead guilty to 15 charges including conspiracy to defraud and abuse of power.

Prosecutors took around one hour and 40 minutes to read the 468 charges relating to 23 EU co-funded programmes worth €5m between 2008 and 2015.

Rozita Pavlidou, 57, a former employee of Tepak who managed the research programmes in question is considered by authorities as the mastermind.

On Tuesday, Pavlidou, her son, her daughter in law, the owner of a company, two senior administrators at the university, and a company as a legal entity, denied all the charges.

The hearing started with Pavlidou, her son, and her daughter in law, submitting a request for legal aid, saying they did not have enough money to pay lawyers.

The court granted the request but stressed that the procedure had been postponed three times in the past and it would not allow another adjournment. The court said the request should have been submitted after the previous adjournment, which had been granted because their lawyer quit.

The court ordered the welfare office to prepare a report about the defendants’ financial standing by June 13.

The case was rescheduled for October 26.

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