Cyprus Mail

Passports report will be made public on December 29, president says

Cyprus Citizenship By Investment Program Review

The Kalogirou report on a number of passports granted under Cyprus’ now defunct citizenship by investment scheme will be made public on December 29, President Nicos Anastasiades said on Wednesday, as he again rejected claims he was opposed to transparency.

The president’s latest remarks come amid an increasingly bad-tempered spat with Diko president Nicholas Papadopoulos who says the government is obstructing the auditor-general from carrying out a probe into the passport scheme because it fears the results.

Only yesterday, in a letter replying to Papadopoulos, the president reiterated that he was ready to resign if any investigation into the scheme shows him to have been involved in any corruption or illegality or to have turned a blind eye to others acting in such a way.

And, in a written statement on Wednesday, Anastasiades said that the findings of an inquiry carried out by the chairwoman of the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission Demetra Kalogirou after observations from the attorney-general, the anti-money laundering unit and personal data protection commissioner, would be made public on December 29.

Any intermediate reports as well as the final report by the committee of inquiry chaired by former supreme court president Myronas Nicolatos will be made public in the same way, he added.

The redacted excerpts will also be made public, once criminal investigations are completed with the exception of information pertaining to personal data.

“I wish to refer to the self-evident and to stress once again that the aim of the investigative committees is none other than to show any political, disciplinary or criminal responsibility,” he said.

“I am therefore not prepared to in any way risk the undermining of the committee of inquiry or any possible investigations which the attorney general may see fit to have, so as to satisfy anyone’s petty political objective,” he added.

And in a thinly veiled swipe at Papadopoulos and the auditor general, the president also voiced ‘acute concern’ over what he said was the effort of some to discredit institutions and personalities who make up the committees while at the same time insisting on assigning every investigation to a specific official, a former member of a specific party, even if constitutionally, that official does not have the corresponding powers.

“These concerns are not focused on any findings against the president of the government, but what some may possibly wish to conceal about specific law firms,” he concluded.

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