Deputy Culture Minister Michalis Hatzigiannis said on Monday that publication of a woman with a criminal record appointed to work at his ministry is barbaric and distorted.

In his statements, after the signing ceremony of the memorandum of understanding between the deputy ministry and the diocese of Tamassos, in relation to the Cultural Summer 2023, in Tamassos, Hatzigiannis expressed his regret for the incorrect handling of the case, which he said, “led to the inhumane treatment that this particular person is now experiencing.”

Asked to explain what treatment he was referring to, the deputy minister said that the personal details of the specific person and her children were made public.

As Hatzigiannis said: “I would like to focus on the issues of publicising her personal information, as well as her children’s, something that is inhumane, it is a betrayal, a barbarism and that is not culture.”

According to Hatzigiannis, the matter for the deputy ministry is considered closed, clarifying that “there is no question of work or even employment of the person in question, since such a thing requires the conclusion of a special contract, something that never existed.”

“It was simply an informal cooperation of a trial period on a voluntary basis, without any payment, which was limited exclusively to issues of promotion and communication of the deputy ministry on social media, without any involvement in official matters,” he said.

Besides, he added that the deputy ministry, considering various factors, decided not to proceed with further cooperation.

At the same time, he said that it should be considered that during the same period, the deputy ministry, being understaffed and with scarce resources, had as an immediate priority the management of very important issues of national scope, which did not allow us to consider the matter as an immediate need.

Hatzigiannis also said: “With the lady in question, I have had a dear collaboration for the last few years through my artistic capacity and therefore I know her excellent abilities.”

He added that he expressed his deep regret regarding the mishandling of the entire case, which led to the inhumane treatment that this individual is now experiencing.

In relation to the creation of an official email for the woman, the ministry’s administrative officer, Zachos Polyviou, stated that since the start of operation of the email it was under constant supervision by a person from the ministry.

According to Polyviou, after the woman was fired, her email address was cancelled, and she had no further access.

Last week, President Nikos Christodoulides admitted that mistakes were made on the appointment of advisers as cabinet is expected to adopt specific criteria for the position.

The decisions were made based on the current framework which is “not right”, the president said.

He was speaking following the uproar regarding the hiring of a series of government staff with the latest being a woman with a criminal record at the deputy culture ministry.