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Auditor launches investigation into presidential jet

Anastasiades in New York

Auditor-general Odysseas Michaelides has launched an investigation into the use by the presidency of a private jet to travel to New York for the UN General Assembly.

Reports said the audit service had collected documents from the presidential palace on Wednesday.

Questions over the use of a private jet by the presidency were raised last weekend after it emerged that the flight carrying the president and his entourage from New York to London was forced to return after three hours because of a cracked windshield.

Even before the president’s return early on Monday, members of the opposition raised questions over the aircraft’s ownership and whether the state had paid for it.

The government insisted there was nothing improper concerning the president’s trip to New York in a private jet, adding that it had been chartered by the state in line with the law.

Daily Politis said the jet, a Boeing 737 800 was permanently stationed at Larnaca airport and it belongs to Saudi interests.

It said that each time there is a need for a private flight, the presidency asks for prices from three or four companies.

Questions however, remained as no details of the bids or the agreements have been released.

It has been suggested that the jet belonged to a Saudi businessman, a friend of the president, who had also been granted a Cypriot passport.

 

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