MPs have asked for the justice ministry’s positions regarding the use of electronic bracelets by defendants as they seek to move forward with an omnibus bill governing the operation of prisons, Disy’s Nicos Tornaritis said on Wednesday.

Tornaritis, who chairs the House legal affairs committee, was speaking to reporters after committee members completed their article-by-article review of the bill.

He said the bill must be voted on the soonest possible, as Cyprus must harmonise with decisions of the European Court of Human Rights and opinions of the Council of Europe.

The top issue that arose during the discussion and for which committee members requested clarification was the use of electronic bracelets by defendants and the right of the court to decide whether a defendant can be held at home, under electronic monitoring.

The justice ministry was asked to submit its final suggestions within the next weeks, so that the bill can move forward.

Tornaritis added that the regulations governing the hiring of police officers had been revised and would go to the plenary for approval in March. Changes were incorporated to address issues that led the administrative court to cancel appointments.

The committee chairman said that the implementation of -i-justice – a transition to fully-fledged e-justice, was progressing but did not hold all the answers.

“It is important that justice is being modernised with the introduction of i-justice over the past year and very soon we will enter the age of e-justice,” he said.

But he noted that this not solve all the problems, drawing particular attention to the poor state of the buildings housing Nicosia district court.

A visit by the committee to the district court scheduled for February 25 has been called off at the advice of the supreme court, but the issue will be discussed between MPs and the supreme court, he added.

Tornaritis also revealed that he had personally conveyed to the justice minister a proposal that the court be temporarily moved to buildings opposite Kykkos annex in Nicosia so that the state can start consultations to relocate the courts to functional and dignified premises until new ones are constructed.