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No wrongdoing by state treasurer in Cypra affair (Updated)

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AG Giorgos Savvides (right) with the head of the investigating committee Haris Poyiadjis (Photo: Christos Theodorides)

An inquiry has found nothing improper against the state treasurer in connection with a slaughterhouse that belongs to her husband which found itself in hot water last year on several fronts.

On the other hand, the three-member panel found that Cypra, the company that owns the slaughterhouse, had acted arbitrarily, exploiting time consuming processes to preserve various unlawful practices.

The panel said there was nothing on Rea Georgiou being personally involved in the affair or abusing her position as treasurer.

The findings of the three-member panel were handed over to the attorney-general on Wednesday by its head, Haris Poyiadjis.

A separate disciplinary probe had also been ordered against Georgiou and a senior treasury officer. According to attorney-general Giorgos Savvides, the probe has been completed and its findings were delivered to him. Savvides, however, declined to disclose its findings.

The attorney-general said the Cypra findings will be studied and then made public, probably with parts of it redacted to protect private data and legal procedures that may be launched.

The probe was initiated after allegations that Georgiou had stopped a €54,000 cheque deposited by her husband’s company as guarantee of faithful execution of an agreement with the government.

She denied any wrongdoing and said there was a court order which prohibited the seizure of the guarantee pending conclusion of the case.

Georgiou also said that at the time, to avoid any actions that would suggest conflict of interest she had recused herself.

Cypra found itself in the eye of the storm last November after some 100 staff at the facility tested positive for the coronavirus.

It later emerged that the majority were asylum seekers who had not been declared to the department of social insurance.

The matter gradually snowballed, revealing building code and environmental violations that were never properly addressed, ostensibly due to slow bureaucratic and legal procedures.

Sworn in on January 7, the investigative committee was mandated to conduct a full and thorough investigation into Cypra Ltd, Cypra Bioenergy Ltd and other affiliated companies and their directors and shareholders.

Their mandate included the legality of the actions of state authorities and whether there have been any interventions by anyone for the benefit of the companies concerned.

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