Cyprus Mail

Anastasiades and one other law firm to be looked into following Pandora allegations

Anastasiades said he has had nothing to do with the law firm since 1997

The Nicos Chr. Anastasiades law firm and another law firm will be investigated by the Bar Association in connection with references made in the Pandora Papers, it emerged on Friday.

Deputy head of the Bar Association Giorgos Christofides told state broadcaster CyBC that both the law firm bearing President Nicos Anastasiades’ name and another one would be checked by the association in connection with the Pandora Papers.

As regards the second law firm, Christofides said that parts of the report that were leaked to the press seem to implicate the office in question. He said this concerns possible involvement regarding a foreign national who is a politically exposed person, as well as illegal activities.

Inspections at these two law firms have already been scheduled to determine if they are involved in illegal transactions or illegal activities, Christofides said.

A report in the Guardian newspaper followed a massive leak of financial documents – dubbed the Pandora Papers — that allegedly tie world leaders to secret stores of wealth.

Anastasiades denied any wrongdoing after the law firm he founded and bears his name was accused of hiding the assets of a former Russian senator behind fake beneficial owners.

“They say nothing, they are talking about the law firm bearing my name and nothing else,” Anastasiades told reporters earlier in the week.

According to the Guardian, Panamanian offshore company broker Alcogal complained that the Cypriot law firm Nicos Chr. Anastasiades & Partners had claimed to it that four of the offshore companies it was managing were beneficially owned by its staff.

However, in the report it filed to financial regulators in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) on June 8, 2015, it said it had come to believe it had been misled, and it now believed the true owner was the Russian businessman Leonid Lebedev.

Anastasiades told the British daily that while he owned shares in the law firm until his election as president in 2013, he had no active role in its affairs after becoming leader of the opposition in 1997.

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