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Cyprus

House seeks legal advice after police demand documents on passport scheme

The House of Representatives

Parliament will seek legal advice from three experts over a police demand for information relating to the citizenship by investment programme as part of a probe to find the source of a leak of confidential documents that were made public by Al Jazeera.

On Tuesday, the legislature refused to cooperate when police, acting on the orders of the attorney-general, asked for certain files. Following the broadcaster’s reports that Cyprus has granted passports to dubious individuals, it had been suggested that the documents, which contained personal data, had been leaked from parliament.

During a meeting of party leaders or representatives on Wednesday, it was decided to ask for the opinion of three legal experts in relation with the police demand for information on 115 individuals who had been granted citizenship.

Edek MP Costis Efstathiou said it was decided to seek the advice of Giorgos Nicolaou, Achilleas Emilianides, and Chris Triantafyllides.

The decision was made after police showed up with a document presentation order signed by the attorney-general, which they delivered to the director, Socratis Socratous.

The order asked Socratous to hand over documents relating to the citizenships of 115 individuals.

The order includes original files and documents kept in parliament, original correspondence and annexes sent by the interior ministry, and original receipts of delivery. The authorities also want any other documents relating to the documents’ processing by parliament.

“If you fail to deliver the documents in question without reasonable cause, you are committing an offence punishable with imprisonment that does not exceed three years or a fine of €2,562 or both,” the order said.

It said police are investigating criminal offences including abuse of power, violation of confidentiality and disclosure of state secrets, and bribery.

 



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