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Cyprus

Probe into commissioner’s qualifications began in April

Former volunteer commissioner Yiannis Yiannakis

The investigation into the forged academic qualification of the volunteerism commissioner was initiated in April, the auditor-general’s office said on Friday after the president accused the audit chief of exploiting the case ahead of Sunday’s parliamentary elections.

Auditor-general Odysseas Michaelides received an anonymous complaint regarding the alleged forged academic qualifications of Yiannakis Yiannaki on April 4 and referred it to Youth Board of Cyprus (Onek), Phileleftheros reported.

After receiving and examining the documents from Onek, Michaelides contacted Yiannaki on May 17 informing him of the findings which led to doubts about his file.

Yiannaki sent his high school diploma to the auditor-general’s office on May 21 and three days later police received the report about possible offences.

On Tuesday, Yiannaki resigned amid the police investigation that his academic qualifications had allegedly been forged.

A photograph of the English translation of Yiannaki’s secondary school diploma was published by various media, showing a mismatch between the grades of several subjects written out in numbers and in letters, i.e in modern Greek, the diploma reads ‘thirteen’ but the number next to it was changed to 19.

His overall grade also appeared to have been amended.

In his letter to the chief of police, the auditor-general also claimed that Yiannaki does not have a university degree citing a very low-quality copy of the US university degree that does not provide the anticipated information such as the grade, raising more questions and doubts.

There are also discrepancies in number of years he attended university in various documents in his files, the report said.

Both qualifications were in Yiannaki’s files at the Youth Board of Cyprus (Onek) where he was first appointed in 1996, securing a permanent job in 2007.

He was appointed commissioner in May 2013 by President Nicos Anastasiades who has said the case should not be exploited for pre-election purposes.  Meanwhile, main opposition Akel referred to Yiannaki as “an important member of Disy” which gained him the position as volunteerism commissioner.

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