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Four more Turkish Cypriot lawyers face arrest warrants

North property, property purchases, housing, Turkish Cypriots
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Arrest warrants have been issued for four more Turkish Cypriot lawyers for selling Greek Cypriot properties in the north, according to reports released on Friday.

Akan Kursat, a Turkish Cypriot lawyer recently arrested in Italy on an EU warrant for similar charges, was found to have travelled from the north’s Ercan (Tymbou) airport to Rome, according to the report in Yeni Bakis.

Speculation had emerged about Kursat’s travel route, considering that he and his wife, CTP ‘MP’ Fazilet Ozdenefe, were thought to have possibly left from the state-controlled areas and Larnaca airport.

However, according to the report, the two “travelled as VIPs” from the north. According to the latest findings of the report, another four lawyers already have outstanding arrest warrants, and will reportedly be arrested if they cross into the state-controlled areas or any other EU country.

Meanwhile, another report in Diyalog noted that considering all these revelations the ‘government’ in the north has been keeping mum.

The only response from ‘authorities’ in the north, following Kursat’s arrest, was that Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar requested assistance from Turkey’s foreign ministry to deal with the issue.

Kursat was arrested on New Year’s Eve at his hotel in Rome, where he was celebrating the new year.

On Thursday, it emerged Cyprus has ten days to submit the arrest warrant and other necessary documents for Kursat’s extradition from Italy. Police spokesman Christos Andreou assured that Kursat would be brought to Cyprus within this timeframe.

The lawyer’s arrest is linked to an EU warrant from 2007 related to property sales in Klepini, Kyrenia, between 2004 and 2005. The case is connected to British con man and drug dealer Gary Robb, who had been convicted in the Cyprus Republic for selling Greek Cypriot land to Britons.

Kursat’s law office, established by his father Talat where he is also a partner, was closely linked to the Robb case, which is where the arrest warrants against both father and son stem from.

Complaints filed in the Republic said that between 2004-2005, Robb, as the director of the AGA Company, had promised the construction of 335 luxury houses on 273,800 square metres of land in Klepini, Kyrenia.

The court heard that 261,589 square metres of that land belonged to Greek Cypriots, 4,661 square metres to the Republic, and the remaining 7,550 square metres to Turkish Cypriots.

“The building activity in question had been established by a visit of Greek Cypriots to the occupied area, and as a result of an investigation, and the subsequent complaints, a European arrest warrant was issued against the appellant [Robb], dated June 8, 2007. This warrant was executed, and the appellant was surrendered by the British authorities to the Cyprus police on August 3, 2011,” the court decision said.

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