President Nicos Anastasiades was aware of some issues between central prisons director Anna Aristotelous and police officers working there but not the specifics, government spokesman Marios Pelekanos said on Tuesday.

He was speaking a day after Aristotelous filed an official complaint with the Attorney-general that a senior police officer had asked an inmate to gain private video footage of her.

Over the weekend it was claimed that both Anastasiades and Attorney-general Giorgos Savvides were aware of the complaint for some weeks.

But speaking to state broadcaster CyBC on Tuesday, Pelekanos said Anastasiades was as surprised as everyone else when he heard the news that broke last Friday.

“The president knew of the ongoing issues regarding the cooperation between the central prisons management and the police force.

“However, he first heard of the potential video footage leak last week, when the news broke,” Pelekanos said, adding that the government is carefully looking into the scandal.

“We have faith in institutions, we have faith in the justice system, and we must wait and see what the findings of the investigation are.

“Only then can further measures and decisions be considered, and if anyone must be held accountable, so they will be,” he said.

On Monday, Aristotelous filed a complaint against the senior police officer implicated in the scandal. Later in the day, Justice Minister Stephi Dracou announced her intention to suspend him.

According to a statement by the justice ministry, the officer has been given until Wednesday to respond before Dracou will make her final decision.

Meanwhile, Savvides on Monday appointed lawyer Achilleas Emilianides as an independent criminal investigator to look into the complaint filed the central prisons director.

Aristotelous filed the complaint to overwhelming backing from prisoners, former prisoners and prison staff who staged a demonstration in her support.

“My lawyers have hand-delivered my complaints to the attorney-general, alongside all of the relevant evidence regarding the actions of a senior officer that were intended to harm me, and which we believe constitute a blatant act of corruption, more so because they were committed by a member of the police,” Aristotelous told reporters after the demonstration.

“We are talking about a senior officer who did not hesitate to use his influence, abusing his power, and no one can question any such action during the investigation”.