Lawyers representing former President Nicos Anastasiades have filed a €2,000,000 lawsuit against journalist and writer Makarios Drousiotis at the Nicosia district court accusing him of making “malicious, false, and defamatory claims” in his books “Mafia State” and “The Gang”.

Included in the lawsuit is an article published on September 5, 2013.

A statement released on Thursday said that the lawsuit was filed by lawyers Giorgos Triantafyllidis and Theodoros Economou on behalf of the former president.

According to the statement, the lawsuit seeks “exemplary damages for defamation, in excess of €2,000,000, as well as a court order prohibiting Drousiotis from rewriting and republishing the controversial passages contained in his books and article.”

The statement adds that Anastasiades “also seeks any other remedy that the court may deem just”.

Later in the day, Drousiotis issued a statement reacting to the lawsuit, calling it “a distracting manoeuvre before his upcoming deposition before the anti-corruption authority.”

“I was informed by the press that Anastasiades is seeking a ban on the circulation of my books, “Mafia State” and “The Gang”, as well as compensation exceeding €2 million.

“This is a distraction manoeuvre due to my ongoing deposition before the anti-corruption authority,” the statement said.

“I remind you that the authority was established by Anastasiades himself. He publicly requested the rapid investigation of the content of my books and the publication of the findings. Its members read the books and decided that there is a case for an investigation.”

“Nevertheless, Anastasiades has taken legal action against me, seeking crippling compensation. This is a panic move and intimidation.”

Drousiotis then vowed to “not succumb to psychological blackmail.”

“I will continue to testify to the truth, which I substantiate with irrefutable evidence.

“I faced Anastasiades in public, I am facing him at the anti-corruption authority, and I am ready to face him in court when and if the case will go on trial,” the statement concluded.