By George Psyllides
A spat between Edek chairman Marinos Sizopoulos and Paphos Mayor Phedonas Phedonos intensified on Thursday after the former questioned the local official’s lack of reaction when someone had accused him of being an “extortionist and a rapist” live on television.
Sizopoulos had called a news conference to set the record straight concerning accusations of tax evasion and corruption voiced by Phedonos recently and announce that he was suing the outspoken local official for defamation.
Reading from a prepared speech, Sizopoulos mounted his defence and also accused Phedonos of being corrupt.
As a parting shot, Sizopoulos said that a known resident of Paphos had called a television show in which Phedonos was taking part and accused him of being an “extortionist and rapist” and challenged him to take him to court.
Sizopoulos said he was surprised to see that Phedonos had ignored the serious accusation, without a comment nor legal measures.
“What is the reason I wonder,” he said, closing his speech with: “These as a start. The best is yet to come.”
Phedonos said later that it was Sizopoulos right to sue and he insisted that his accusations regarding tax evasion and corruption were true.
When asked about the rapist allegation however, in his effort to defend himself, Phedonos may have shot himself on the foot.
“A member of my party (DISY) was spreading the rumour that I am a homosexual to hurt me morally,” the mayor said.
Of the ‘rapist’ issue, Phedonos said it happened close to the 2016 local elections while he was on a state broadcaster chat show.
The mayor said he had made a reference to a land case and this man came on and said ‘what is this extortionist and rapist saying now’.
Phedonos said a lot of people had tried to dig up dirt on him but came up with nothing. He said he was not taking anyone to court and challenged anyone with information against him to do so or go public as he does.