Two British legal experts will be coming to Cyprus to help with investigations surrounding the controversial ‘golden passports’, an issue that has embroiled former President Nicos Anastasiades.

Head of the independent authority against corruption Charis Poyiadjis told the Cyprus Mail on Friday the team will be comprised of one British solicitor and one British barrister.

So far one Cypriot lawyer has been confirmed to join the team and the authority is examining whether another one or two more experts are required – likely any auditor or lawyer, though the candidates are local.

“There was a reluctancy to find Cypriot experts. We reached out to some people excellent in their field, but you know Cypriot society.”

Poyiadjis was referring to an unspoken fear of being the lawyer or auditor to investigate the links between conflicts of interest surrounding Anastasiades and the golden passports.

“This investigation will not span an endless amount of months, it will be efficient,” Poyiadjis said.

The auditor general in his report last year said eight passports were awarded in connection to the Ayia Napa marina, however the investment criteria were not being met. The legal office offering the services is “one where the (former) president’s daughter have a stake.”

It is understood it alludes to Anastasiades’ former law office, which he passed the shares on to his daughters.

Anastasiades’ ministers are also embroiled in the investigations as they would have to rubberstamp the final approval for the passports to be granted during cabinet meetings.

Another element to the investigation is connected to a complaint filed by Akel MP Christos Christofides, alleging a Russian billionaire received a Cypriot passport under Anastasiades’ government.

At the moment, the authority is in the process of hiring a number of investigators to join the ranks. “We interviewed six people last week.” So far, 20 individuals including lawyers and auditors have been hired, with another 50 applications in the works.

When investigations begin, the appointed experts will be assigned to different cases.

Another investigation is that made public by former presidential candidate Andreas Mavroyiannis, which Anastasiades referred to the authority. That is the details of the allegations put forth in the books by investigative journalist Makarios Droushiotis.

This will also be address in the near future, Poyiadjis said.