THE EAGERLY AWAITED opposition proceedings in the case brought against auditor-general Odysseas Michaelides by attorney-general George Savvides were filed by the former’s team of big-shot lawyers, whose fees he must have taken out a big bank loan to cover.

Their opposition to the procedure is based on two points: the application of the AG to the constitutional council, comprising of nine judges, is groundless and that the AG does not have the authority to seek the sacking of an independent state official.

Apart from the legal arguments there is no shortage of emotional elements in the 72-page document filed, indicating that Odyssseas’ legal eagles have decided to stir public opinion against the AG and his deputy Savvas Angelides and turn the case into something of a popularity contest, in which there can only be one winner.

Public praise given to Odysseas by the president was cited, as were opinion polls which showed that the public, in its “overwhelming majority expressed confidence in the auditor-general and the audit office for the successful work they were doing.”

Someone so popular could not have done anything wrong – it is a compelling legal argument, as is public, presidential praise.

THE ODYSSEAS camp is not only relying on the popularity card which it hopes might influence the judges. It is also applying pressure on Prezniktwo, the compulsive people-pleaser, to publicly side with their man.

Last Sunday afternoon, the ‘auditor-general support group’ held a demonstration outside the presidential palace declaring they would not allow “the silencing” of the auditor-general and demanding transparency. The turnout of saddos wasting a Sunday afternoon was not that good, but it was one way of putting pressure on the prez to back their horse.

This was not the only such attempt. Phil’s opinion poll about the Odysseas-Savvides dispute also asked whether people approved of the prez’s handling of the ‘crisis’ and more than 70 per cent said ‘no’. This would have had an impact on the popularity-conscious prez, whose tacit approval of the AG’s move remains a carefully guarded secret.

More pressure was applied by a letter to Odysseas – published in Phil – from an Akel deputy, asking him to investigate how the prez’s wife was spending the money of the independent social support agency, that helps needy university students. The prez is being made to pay for not backing Odysseas.

THE OPPOSITION proceedings document argued that the heads of the legal service nursed “hostility and hatred towards auditor-general” while his mouthpiece Phil said Odysseas maintained that the application was filed “vindictively in reprisal” to his reporting Angelides to the authority against corruption.

Of course, Odysseas’ manic pursuit of Angelides (he has made another attempt to get him by reporting the Anastasiades cabinet, in which he was serving, of benefiting from the golden passports) is motivated by neither hostility nor hatred. His motives are always pure and noble, fashioned exclusively by his virtue.

I had a laugh reading an excerpt of the opposition proceedings document, which claimed Savvides’ only concern was “to project himself as the only guardian of legality” for the “glory of unrestrained populism” and “whose only motive was the tarnishing of other people and institutions and his emergence as the only incorruptible official.”

Did the smart, big-shot lawyers not recognise that the above were a perfectly accurate description of their own client’s behaviour? Savvides can be accused of a lot of things, but there is only one man in this country promoting himself as the only incorruptible official and the only guardian of legality.

QUESTIONS were raised after the head of the anti-corruption authority, Haris Poyadjis, out of the blue, wrote to the AG demanding that he brought criminal charges against the drug squad chief Michalis Katsounotos because he had refused to answer questions in the authority’s investigation of corruption against Deputy AG Angelides.

It seemed bizarre that Poyadjis decided, five months after the investigation into Angelides had been completed, to demand the prosecution of Katsounotos who had exercised his constitutional right not to answer in order not to incriminate himself. Did Poyadjis, who had served as a judge, not know that even in a civil case a witness can exercise this right with impunity?

Even more bizarre was how Poyadjis, who was so timid as a judge he was terrified of issuing decisions, found the balls to demand the prosecution of Katsounotos now, five months after the end of the investigation? Why had he not done so in January or February, or March or April? Perhaps he grows tough after the Easter fast.

THE REQUEST for the prosecution of Katsounotos may be linked to the Odysseas-Savvides clash. Everyone with basic knowledge of the law knew that Savvides would have turned it down as there were no legal grounds for it, but that publicly he would be seen protecting the hated Katsounotos.

He was pilloried by the media for this but, more importantly, Odysseas’ lawyers included this refusal in their opposition proceedings paper to prove that other institutions, like the anti-corruption authority, were at odds with the AG – not just the auditor-general.

Nobody mentioned that Poyadjis, after deciding he was not cut out to be a judge and resigning, went back to working as a lawyer. His employer was one of the big-shot lawyers that is in Odysseas’ defence team. Maybe someone should report him to the authority against corruption for alleged conflict of interest in the execution of his duties.

THE PILLLAR of East Med stability is in danger of being overwhelmed by Syrian refugees from Lebanon. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has urged Syrians to head for Kyproulla and Europe in a televised address, putting the fear of Allah into our political leadership.

Nasrallah does not have it in for Kyproulla, but he is merely hoping the threat of flooding EU countries with Syrian refugees would force Brussels to give Lebanon more moollah than it was offered so far. Lebanon is home to almost as many Syrian refugees as Turkey and is only getting a fraction of the money being paid to the Turks for keeping them out of Europe.

How long before Prezniktwo and his new best friend Ursula von der Leyen pay Nasrallah a visit to put him in his place.

EXAMS by popular demand have become a fixture in our country. Parents of kids graduating from secondary schools this year were up in arms over the level of difficulty in questions in the end of year modern Greek exams.

Many children failed to answer all the questions, said the president of the confederation of parents associations of secondary schools, claiming the questions were as difficult as those in university entry exams.

The confederation wrote to the education minister demanding she gives instructions for more lenient marking. Full marks for everyone I hope, even those who did not answer all the questions.

ALTHOUGH the presidential couple is fully backing the candidacy of Disy renegade Andreas Papacharalambous for the Strovolos mayorship, it cannot be seen to be doing so publicly, because parties of the government alliance are supporting other candidates.

But the couple owe Papacharalambous, who supported Prezniktwo’s candidacy, so they sent one of their minions to help him out – the earnest gender equality commissioner Josie Christodoulou.

She praised the mayor for completing four of the five actions of her gender equality plan, including setting up a breast-feeding and pumping room for mothers, parking spaces for families with pushchairs, and baby changing facilities in both men’s and women’s bathrooms. Equality of the sexes has made huge strides forward in Strovolos under Papacharalambous. Soon it may even start hiring women as garbage collectors.

STATE hospital nursing unions are threatening industrial action if Okypy fails to hire another 120 nurses because their nurses can’t cope, presumably with having to do a full day’s work. It suffices to say that private hospitals, which account for 50 per cent of total hospital beds, do not face staffing shortages even though they employ a third of the 3,500 nurses working in state hospitals and on lower average wages.

Someone who was at Nicosia general hospital recently said she had her blood pressure tested about 10 times a day as nurses were looking for something to do. If there were no nurse shortages her blood pressure would have been tested 20 times a day.

YOU JUST can’t stop Prezniktwo from always being the messenger of good tidings. Nobody else in the government is ever permitted to announce decisions that would be regarded as positive by the great unwashed.

On Wednesday morning, before the council of ministers meeting, the prez called in the TV cameras to tell them that the cabinet will take the decision to appoint two criminal investigators to look into the Thanasis Nicolaou case.

Technically speaking, he should have waited for the cabinet to approve the appointment before announcing it, but perhaps he had something to do after the meeting and would not have been able to announce the decision personally.