Lawyers for Auditor-General Odysseas Michaelides will on Friday file with the court their objection to an application by the attorney-general’s office to have the official removed from office.

Media reports said the formal objection consists of 75 pages. It’s a routine move – in late April the attorney-general had filed his application to have Michaelides removed from office on the grounds of “conduct unbecoming”. Michaelides had 21 days in which to file a response. The deadline lapses on Friday.

Should the court accept the auditor-general’s objection, the case would end there – essentially a win for Michaelides.

But if the court does not accept the objection, it would then set a date for the substance of the case to be heard. That would signal the start of the real legal battle.

Michaelides’ legal team includes hard-hitters like Joe Triantafyllides, Pambos Ioannides and Christos Clerides – former head of the bar association.

If the affair does go to trial, it will churn up past cases where a number of public officials clashed with the auditor-general over allegations he made about them. It has also been speculated that even President Nikos Christodoulides could be summoned as a witness.

The current legal duel amounts to a showdown between Michaelides and the attorney-general and his deputy. Tensions between the two camps have been simmering for some time but escalated after Michaelides accused deputy AG Savvas Angelides of not prosecuting because of a conflict of interest.

In turn, the attorney-general accused Michaelides of “overstepping his boundaries”.

The case against Michaelides will be only the second time a request for the suspension of an independent state official has been filed in the Republic of Cyprus. The only other so far was the case of Rikkos Erotokritou, who was suspended as deputy 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.