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Paphos mayor accuses Edek chief of land sale scam

Paphos mayor Phedonas Phedonos

Paphos mayor Phedonas Phedonos accused Edek chairman Marinos Sizopoulos of tax evasion on Wednesday, continuing a public spat for the second day running.

Phedonos claimed that Sizopoulos and his partner in a company had sold a piece of land in Nicosia and told the land registry they had received 650,000 Cyprus pounds less than they had.

The mayor was speaking on a lunchtime news show on Sigma television, prompting Sizopoulos to call in and counter claim that Phedonos was present at the contract signing as an employee of the other party.

The Edek chairman said Phedonos had visited his partner’s office numerous times during which he had negotiated the price of the property.

Phedonas did not deny being an employ of the other company but accused Sizopoulos of lying over the negotiation issue.

The mayor said he had visited the office to discuss permits and transfers and not the agreement.

Sizopoulos rebuffed the mayor who insisted that he had pocketed over 600,000 pounds more than he had declared.

“Everything will become public and you will be irreparably exposed,” Sizopoulos said.

Phedonos insisted on his version and challenged Sizopoulos to open his bank accounts.

On Tuesday, the mayor accused Sizopoulos of intervening to help a relative keep a Turkish Cypriot property in the Paphos harbour without being eligible.

Phedonos said the painter, who is not a refugee nor is he in any way eligible, rented the shop at the Paphos harbour from the state and sublets it to a businessman at a much higher price.

The lease had been signed with the legal owner in 1972 but the painter continued to hold on to the property after the invasion and when they were put under the guardian of Turkish Cypriot properties (interior ministry).

The ministry issued a statement on the matter, noting that Turkish Cypriot property administration often related to complex legal issues, which differ on a case-by-case basis.

One of those issues are agreements that allow subletting despite the fact that the law prohibits it.

“In many cases in fact, this arrangement is based on the fact that these contracts were agreed before the law on Turkish Cypriot properties came into force in 1991, or even before 1974,” the ministry said.

To resolve the matter, the ministry has asked the state Legal Service for guidance on how to handle them.

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