Cyprus Mail

TV station owner claims he bribed broadcasting officials, probe underway

Police on Thursday said they were investigating a report that a television station owner had been bribing two officials from the radio and television authority (CRA) in return for preferential treatment.

The businessman reported to Auditor-general, Odysseas Michaelides last December that when he stopped giving the kickbacks, the CRA slapped his TV station with steep fines, much higher than those given to other stations for the same offences.

Michaelides said on Thursday that the man claimed to have paid the two officials, one of whom is no longer a member of the authority, some tens of thousands of euros in kickbacks during the past two to three years.

When he was asked to pay more and refused, the CRA slapped his station with very steep fines, he claimed.

The businessman, Michaelides said, submitted documentation to support his case.

Michaelides said his office had forwarded the report to the attorney-general, who in turn, ordered a police probe.

Police spokesman, Andreas Angelides, said on Thursday they were investigating the case to determine whether there was a criminal case to be pursued.

“The CID of the police headquarters started assessing the correspondence and will carry on with statements, among others, of the complainant,” Angelides aid.

He added that it was too soon to say whether there would be any arrests.

He refrained from revealing which television station it was.

“What matters is to proceed quickly with the investigation of this case and to take any statements that have to be taken to investigate the allegations in the individual’s complaint,” he said.

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