Cyprus Mail

Police search residences and offices of three Cypriots in Al Jazeera video

Police Car 16

Police on Thursday reportedly searched the residences and offices of at least three persons linked to recent reveals by the Al Jazeera network concerning the controversial citizenship-by-investment scheme.

The Cyprus News Agency said police secured and executed search warrants at the homes and offices of a number of people, including former House president Demetris Syllouris, former Akel MP Christakis Giovanis, and attorney Andreas Pittadjis.

Materials were confiscated from the premises. The materials consisted of computers and hard disks, other media outlets said.

Syllouris, Giovanis and Pittadjis all appear in the al Jazeera documentary – an undercover investigation – aired earlier this month. The footage was filmed in October 2019.

In the video, Syllouris is shown offering to help a pretend Chinese businessman, with a criminal record, secure citizenship. He resigned his position as House president shortly after the revelations.

Giovanis, who is also a developer, was forced to give up his seat and his place in the party after he was seen in the same video.

And Pittadjis, a prominent Famagusta lawyer, was seen offering advice on how to skirt the criteria of the citizenships scheme.

All three denied any wrongdoing, claiming entrapment.

The video forced the government to terminate the citizenships scheme in its current form, but not before processing existing applications, around 700, and any others filed before the November 1 deadline.

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