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Auditor finalising presidency private jet report

Anastasiades in New York

The audit service is in the process of preparing reports relating to the use of a private jet by President Nicos Anastasiades and the naturalisation of its owner by the government a few years ago, Auditor-general Odysseas Michaelides said on Wednesday.

Michaelides told the Cyprus News Agency the drafts of the two reports will be finalised at the end of this week before they were forwarded to the concerned parties, including the ministries of interior and finance.

They will be published simultaneously on Friday, January 31.

The auditor launched a probe after it emerged that the presidency had used a private jet to travel to New York for the UN General Assembly last September.

It was only after the aircraft was forced to return to New York with a cracked windshield that it became known that the president had been using a private jet.

Reports at the time said the jet, a Boeing 737 800, was permanently stationed at Larnaca airport and it belonged to Saudi interests.

Questions were raised as to whether the presidency shopped around for the best bargain for air travel, or whether it has a standing arrangement with the Saudi businessman and owner of the jet.

It was also revealed later that the owner had been granted Cypriot citizenship in 2016.

One report also claimed that Anastasiades had used a jet owned by the Saudi businessman for a private trip to the Seychelles in August 2018.

 

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