The Cyprus Medical Association (CMA) went on the defensive on Friday as to why it had yet to strike off or punish the doctor who was found guilty of indecently assaulting his patient.

It said that because the sentence had not been handed down yet, the trial was still ongoing. As such, neither the CMA or the disciplinary board had the authority to suspend his license.

Gastroenterologist Pavlos Antoniou was found guilty of indecent assault against his patient, after she reported him in 2020.

CMA said it rejected “in the strongest terms” suggestions that it was not determined to take action over its members that commit disciplinary offences.

This public criticism is linked to the fact that Antoniou had previously been reported for similar offences. He pled guilty in 2015 to sexual harassment and indecent assault, carried out in his workplace. He was punished with a fine, several years later.

The CMA had also been criticised for saying it would carry out its own investigation once the current trial is over, prompting MPs and NGOs to question why the latest court decision is not enough.

CMA specified it had already sent a letter to the attorney-general requesting the court documents over the case.

The woman told court she had visited the doctor, a family friend, for specific examinations requiring anaesthesia.

She accused the doctor of taking her to a closed space within the premise to later engage in indecent acts four times within a few minutes after she regained consciousness.