Auditor-General Odysseas Michaelides said on Saturday he will file an objection to a case brought to the Supreme Constitutional Court to have him removed from his role.

He said he had instructed his lawyers to file an objection to the case, and that he will make no further comment on the matter, saying “the judiciary will now have its say.”

Meanwhile, Attorney-General George Savvides’ lawyers, Kallis and Kallis LLC and L Papaphilippou & Co, accused newspaper Phileleftheros of making “unprecedented distortions” in their article regarding the case on Saturday.

They said the newspaper had published falsehoods “in order to create false impressions.”

Phileleftheros had on Saturday written of an “arsenal” of 15 charges prepared by the legal service with the aim of demonstrating that Michaelides had behaved inappropriately in office.

The 15 alleged charges contained matters such as Michaelides’ sister following a support group for him on Facebook and claims that he had handled the matter of multiple pensions in an illegal manner.

President Nikos Christodoulides also spoke on the matter on Saturday, once again refusing to directly involve himself therein.

“Some people seek, for their own reasons which do not concern me, to link me to one side or to the other. I am not getting myself involved under any circumstances. After all, if I wanted to do so or wished to do so, I could,” he said.

He added that the situation is “an unfortunate and unpleasant development”, and was keen to point out that there is “a clear separation of powers” regarding Cyprus’ institutions of government.

“Any decision the courts make will be respected by me to the fullest extent. I have nothing else to say on this matter. It is in the courts, I am not going to say anything else,” he said.

He has not been immune from criticism, however, with Akel leader Stefanos Stefanou having described Christodoulides’ stance on the matter as “extremely worrying and dangerous”.

Speaking to Astra radio on Saturday, he said Christodoulides was attempting to act as a “shrewd neutral” and was treating the matter with “apathy”.

“The president’s attitude shows that either he does not understand what this development really means, or, he is letting things develop with his silence, and it is his own will for things to be this way,” he said.

He added that “while the auditor-general may have exceeded his powers in some cases, that does not mean he should be taken to court to request that he be sacked.”

“It seems from the outside that the heads of the legal service do not have a good case,” he said, adding that his party had blown the whistle “many times about conflicts of interest” as both the attorney-general and his deputy had been appointed by former President Nicos Anastasiades having previously served as ministers under him.

Given the right of reply while speaking to journalists later on Saturday, Christodoulides said, “if this conflict could have been avoided, it would have been a better development for me.”

“The fact that it was not avoided means that those who decided to proceed wanted to proceed,” he said.

The legal service filed their case for Michaelides to be relieved of his duties on Friday, with the case only the second of its nature to be filed in the history of the Republic of Cyprus.

The only other so far was the case of Rikkos Erotokritou, who was suspended as assistant attorney-general in 2015. Erotokritou was later sentenced to three and a half years in prison after he was found guilty of defrauding a public official, bribing public officials, and other charges.

Michaelides immediately responded with a statement, describing the case as a “retaliation” for a complaint filed by his service regarding an alleged abuse of power on the part of assistant Attorney-General Savvas Angelides in May last year.

Angelides had at the time described the complaint as “deliberate targeting”, “dangerous behaviour”, and “bad faith”.

On Friday, Michaelides said “the implementation of this retaliation has been underway for months and is now entering its final phase with the filing today of an application for my suspension from the position of auditor-general for alleged misconduct.

“These unsubstantiated accusations which the heads of the legal service throw at me and at the audit service at every opportunity will finally be able to be answered by independent and unbridled judges,” he said.

The current ‘war’ between the legal service and the audit office was kicked off last Sunday when deputy Attorney-General Savvas Angelides gave a scathing interview to newspaper Kathimerini regarding Michaelides’ conduct.

Any sane thinking person would demand to follow the only procedure which exists to control the behaviour of the auditor-general towards independent officials and others in the public sphere,” he said.

He said the “only option available to assess this behaviour” is to involve the judicial council in a process which, would “adjudicate an application to decide what constitutes misconduct for the purpose of dismissal.”