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After a month’s break, passport inquiry resumes

Former House president Demetris Syllouris

The committee of inquiry investigating the now-defunct citizenship-by-investment (CBI) scheme will resume its hearings on Tuesday, following a break of about a month.

Next to testify will be Socrates Socratous, secretary general of the House of Representatives.

Tuesday’s hearing – open to the media – starts at noon in the Jean Monnet auditorium, in the former Filoxenia hotel in Nicosia.

The panel’s last hearing had taken place in early February with the testimony of President Nicos Anastasiades.

In the interim the committee has also been working on an interim report, which the attorney-general – who appointed the panel – has said will be made public, as will be the final report.

The published reports will be redacted to obscure material that may be used for possible criminal proceedings.

The committee are investigating some 4,000 naturalisations granted under the CBI, from the programme’s inception in 2007 to October 2020 when it was nixed.

According to reports, likely future witnesses include former House president Demetris Syllouris, former Akel MP Christos Giovanis and lawyer Andreas Pittadjis.

The three appeared in an undercover video aired by al Jazeera, where Syllouris and Giovanis are shown offering to help a pretend Chinese businessman with a criminal record secure citizenship. Both men have since resigned.

 

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