Lawyer Andreas Pittadjis, who stars along with the former House president and an Akel MP in the controversial video released last year by Al Jazeera in which they all appear willing to help a Chinese criminal acquire a Cypriot passport, said on Wednesday the report did not reflect the truth.

In a post on social media, Pittadjis released a sound clip of his meeting with the undercover Al Jazeera reporters who were trying to get feelers about the possibility of their client, a fictitious Chinese businessman with a criminal record, get a Cypriot passport.

The release of the Al Jazeera video sounded the death knell to the citizenship by investment programme which was axed last November.

The Paralimni-based lawyer said he decided to break his silence after three months of humiliation, harassment and marginalisation.

He called on Al Jazeera to explain why it did not report exactly what he told the undercover journalists but rather edited his comments on a whim “and with a fake video you went to kill a man who did nothing to you.”

Pittadjis also said he had suspected them and had also recorded their meetings.

He said that the news outlet had presented in its video that Pittadjis was willing to help change their client’s name before he arranged for him to get a Cypriot passport but failed to leave in the part where they were asking him about this procedure in general and not specifically for this man.

In the short sound clip he released, which Pittadjis said was him discussing with the undercover journalists, one woman asks if the KYC (Know Your Client) process comes before the name change.

“Yes, yes, yes. We have to make the investment, the passport and then the name change,” a man Pittadjis said was him is heard saying. “After he passes successfully the whole process and you get the official decision from the government that ‘yes, we like you to be one of us’, then you can change your name as many times you want.”

He adds that there is nothing illegal in this.

“You edited it and served a fake dish,” Pittadjis tells Al Jazeera in his statement released with the sound clip.

He added that he had shown the journalists the list of documents they needed to present for their client and that before any application, research must be done in accordance with the law.

He also said he kicked them out of his office when they did not provide the information he had asked, and they had returned with reassurances they would so that he could check their client’s background.

Pittadjis said they failed to include this in the video, nor that he had also clearly told them on October 26, 2019 that their client would not be able to get a Cypriot passport.

He challenged Al Jazeera to refute their first of many recordings.

“I challenge you to explain why you concealed this,” he said.

“This IS Cyprus Al Jazeera. And I am not afraid of you. I summon you to the Court of public opinion and I dare you to respond,” Pittadjis said.

The video by Al Jazeera was released last October and prompted the government to scrap its citizenship by investment scheme and appoint a committee to investigate all passports given to foreign investors but not in time to stop the EU from seeking sanctions against Cyprus.

The video showed then House president Demetris Syllouris and his close friend Akel MP Christakis Giovanis, offering to help a fictitious Chinese businessman with a criminal record secure citizenship. Both men have since resigned.

This was Al Jazeera’s second expose on Cyprus’ investment programme dubbed Cyprus Papers. In August, citing leaked documents, the broadcaster reported Cyprus was granting passports to dubious individuals, sparking a barrage of denials and accusations that it was out to smear the island.