Cyprus Mail

Diplomat at centre of sexual harassment allegations given retroactive promotion (updated)

The civil service commission (Edy) defended a decision on Wednesday to promote a former diplomat who had been accused and later acquitted of indecent assault charges but was censured by the court over his morally unacceptable and vulgar behaviour.

Daily Politis reported that the commission promoted the former ambassador retroactively, apparently ignoring the integrity of character criterion.

The paper suggested there had been political interference towards the commission and questioned the absence of any information regarding a disciplinary probe ordered against him after the supreme court decision.

In a written statement, Edy said on Wednesday it “faithfully enforces the provisions of the legislation and case law relating to the matters under examination.”

It said the report concerned a recent decision to promote a member of the diplomatic service who had been acquitted by the supreme court and no disciplinary action was brought before the commission.

The diplomat in question, Edy said, “had been judged as excellent in all departmental evaluations by his superiors” and had been entrusted the position of chief of mission in important countries abroad “by all administrations, even after the incident.”

The commission said it would not comment further on the matter out of respect for personal data protection.

Former ambassador to Stockholm Costas Papadimas had been reported by two female employees between 2002 and 2005 of sexual harassment and indecent assault.

He was tried and jailed but was released seven months into his sentence after the supreme court upheld his appeal, judging that there was no evidence to support the two women’s complaints.

Papadimas had claimed at the time that whatever happened had been consensual.

Despite the acquittal, the supreme court said, “we note that even if the events had taken place under the conditions the appellant claims, his whole conduct was unacceptable, morally forbidden, and oftentimes vulgar but also humiliating for him and those it affected.”

The court said his behaviour at the workplace discredited him, in his capacity as the head of the diplomatic mission, but also the state’s diplomatic service in general and the Republic of Cyprus that entrusted him with representing it in a foreign country.”


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