The Legal Service on Friday questioned the timing behind the anti-corruption authority’s announcement on the divide surrounding former drug squad chief Michalis Katsounotos.

Sticking to its guns, the Legal Service said it consciously chooses to stay away from the limelight for public debates “in full knowledge that this position leaves room for a range of comments and criticisms.”

Nonetheless, the anti-corruption’s announcement on Wednesday has “forced the Legal Service to take a public stance on the matter,” following the public discussion that unfolded.

“The Legal Service maintains the soundness of its position, based on a full study of the records, taking into account the fact that the complainant was unquestionably a suspect in the case at hand.”

Katsounotos had been called to the Anti-Corruption Authority to speak to them as part of an investigation into Deputy Attorney-General Savvas Angelides’ alleged conflicts of interests.

The former drug chief did not respond to their questions, saying he was not obliged to.

Legal experts of the anti-corruption authority suggested that Katsounotos’ refusal to speak may have made him criminally liable, but the Legal Service refused to initiate proceedings against him.

This sparked an outcry from the authority itself as well as MPs.

Friday’s announcement from the Legal Service expressed “surprise and concern” about the content in the anti-corruption authority’s statement, as well as the timing of its publication.

“The authority knew of the Legal Service’s decision since February 26.”

It added that the anti-corruption authority had been selective over the correspondence it referred to.

The Legal Service underlined it would not delve into clarifications on that matter publicly, due it being classified.

“The Legal Service considers the authority a natural ally in the fight against corruption, since the work of the authority is complementary to the exercise of the constitutional powers of the attorney general.”

It specified their intention, as was expressed verbally to the commissioner of the anti-corruption authority, is to hold a meeting together.

Among other things, they can discuss their differing legal opinions and the approach surrounding this matter.

The Legal Service sought to stress these differences have only appeared over Katsounotos’ case, rather than all cases, “in contrast to what the authority’s announcement mistakenly, in our opinion, suggests.”

Appearing before the House ethics committee earlier this week, Anti-Corruption Authority head Harris Poyiadjis said “[Katsounotos] cannot come and say he will not answer any questions.

“If we give him the right to remain silent when the law says he has to answer, what will the investigating officer tell him?”