The Cyprus Broadcasting Cooperation (CyBC) has had all its bank accounts frozen, it emerged on Wednesday.

The accounts have been frozen by a decree obtained by the lawyer of Evdokia Loizou, the former CyBC employee who won compensation for an occupational illness she contracted – encephalitis – while working at the public broadcaster.

Speaking to the Cyprus Mail, Loizou’s lawyer and Bar Association chairman Michalis Vorkas explained that the freezing is sourced from a degree issued by the Nicosia district court.

He added that the accounts are set to be frozen until Loizou receives the €1.3 million she is owed – €925,000 in damages and the remainder in VAT, interest and legal fees – from CyBC.

The aim of freezing the accounts is to force CyBC to pay the amount owed immediately. Politis said that as a result of the freeze, more than 70 cheques issued by CyBC have been returned unpaid.

Vorkas said his team had requested from CyBC that they set out how and when Loizou’s payment will be made, but that despite reassurances being given that such information would be passed on, CyBC never said how they would make the payments.

“As a result, we took the decision to confiscate the money. We requested from the court that the accounts be frozen so that CyBC cannot access the money. In effect, it has been confiscated.”

Despite this, he said, the CyBC has still sent no response and may even appeal the initial ruling which awarded Loizou the initial €925,000.

CyBC is set to challenge the freezing of its accounts at the Nicosia district court on Thursday.

Vorkas explained that on Thursday, the court will “listen to both sides and make a decision regarding the extent to which we had the right to have the money frozen and the extent to which they had the right not to pay.”

He added that CyBC’s board had initially said it will not appeal the decision, but that it seems that an appeal will go ahead regardless.

In addition, he said, he does not expect a decision on the validity of the freezing of the accounts to be made on Thursday, but for a more drawn-out legal process to take place.

In the initial ruling which stipulated the payout to Loizou, the court found that viral encephalitis is an infectious parasitic disease caused by the environment. This causes acquired damage to the brain causing various neurological symptoms even in the long term.

It also found that Loizou suffered both great pain and suffering over a long period of time, and the residual effects that remained continue to plague her, affecting her quality of life, her personality, her activities, her career and her daily life 17 years later.

It added that Loizou had “succeeded in proving the necessary causal link between her illness and the poor working conditions at CyBC”. Back in 2012, Dr Athanasios Athanasiou from the Labour Inspection Department also reported that Loizou’s disease was caused by her workplace.