Police on Tuesday called on Governor of the Central Bank (CBC) Chrystalla Georghadji to clarify her recent statements that she stopped looking into bad loans of politically exposed persons (PEPs) because she “got scared” when police seized her computers and questioned her.
In a written statement, police said they had acted “in accordance with their mandate following a complaint by an MP and following instructions from the Attorney General.”
Georghadji’s statements, police said, “unfortunately cast shadows on the actions of the police and she is therefore invited to make relevant clarifications so as not to create false impressions.”
Georghadji had told MPs on Monday that she had had to stop looking into bad loans held by PEPs because she “got scared” when police seized her computers and questioned her. Georghadji told the House finance committee that in 2015 she began gathering data on PEPs who had bad loans with Cypriot banks and that later in the same year someone had leaked a list of MPs and their loans at Bank of Cyprus to the press.
Following a complaint filed by independent MP Zaharias Koulias that his personal data had been violated, police entered the Central Bank with warrants to search the premises. At the time, furious MPs spoke of an attempt by the Central Bank to blackmail lawmakers through leaks to the press with information about their loan arrears.
According to Georghadji, when she went to her office one day she found yellow police tape around it.
“The police told me they were seizing my computer. It is a serious matter, there was a criminal investigation, and my mea culpa was that perhaps I got scared.”
She was later deposed by the CID.
Her computer was subsequently returned to her when none other than Mario Draghi, head of the European Central Bank, intervened on her behalf.