- Deputy A-G claims con­spir­acy - Prov­i­den­cia skele­ton comes out of the closet - In­quiry finds Ero­tokri­tou was ‘bribed’

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Deputy At­tor­ney Gen­eral Rikkos Ero­tokri­tou blasted an in­de­pen­dent probe into his at­tempts to off­set a loan with now-de­funct Laiki, which he is cur­rently chal­leng­ing at the Supreme Court, say­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion was a smoke­screen and in re­al­ity aimed at cut­ting short any at­tempt to in­ves­ti­gate a multi-mil­lion dollar scan­dal in­volv­ing a Rus­sian in­her­i­tance.

Ero­tokri­tou called a press con­fer­ence where he em­barked on a three-year jour­ney, high­light­ing his ef­forts to get the Law Of­fice to in­ves­ti­gate the il­le­gal pos­ses­sion of a hold­ing com­pany called Prov­i­den­cia, in fact a trust set up by the late Oleg Zakharov in 2002 for his three chil­dren, by the fund’s present ad­min­is­tra­tor, to the detri­ment of Zakharov’s un­der­aged daugh­ter.

Prov­i­den­cia is the 85% owner of Rosinka In­ter­na­tional Res­i­den­tial Com­plex, a vast real es­tate project out­side Moscow that has al­legedly fallen into the hands of cor­rupt of­fi­cials and mem­bers of the un­der­world.

Ero­tokri­tou said that he had asked the present and past At­tor­ney Gen­er­als to look into the case, which the lat­ter re­frained from do­ing.

He said this ‘cover up’ was the rea­son why his 500,000 euro loan with Laiki, which he tried to off­set against his de­posits in the bank that were bailed-in, hence lost, came to light, be­cause the lawyers for le­gacy Laiki, ini­tially failed to show up in court fro the hear­ing. Af­ter the court found in Ero­tokri­tou’s favour, the lawyers from An­dreas Neo­cleous & Co. ap­pealed and re­in­stated the bank’s ef­forts to fore­close on the loan.

This episode was al­legedly de­scribed by Cen­tral Bank Gover­nor Chrys­talla Ge­orghadji as a ‘bribe’ in a state­ment by for­mer Cen­tral Bank Ex­ec­u­tive Board Mem­ber Ste­lios Kil­iaris.

Hav­ing made the al­le­ga­tions dur­ing a par­lia­men­tary hear­ing, in an ef­fort to show that Ge­orghadji was run­ning the cen­tral bank as she liked, Kil­iaris sub­se­quently quit. Ge­orghadji then sent a let­ter to Ero­tokri­tou deny­ing she ever made the state­ment.

The fact that the Deputy At­tor­ney Gen­eral was in­volved, forced At­tor­ney Gen­eral Costas Clerides to call for a probe, tasked to for­mer judge Panayi­o­tis Kal­lis.

Clerides said that Kal­lis be­lieves that Ero­tokri­tou had in fact been bribed by Neo­cleous and, ac­cord­ing to the re­port, Ero­tokri­tou made a deal with the firm. In ex­change, Ero­tokri­tou would or­der the pros­e­cu­tion of sev­eral Rus­sian na­tion­als against which Neo­cleous had dis­puted own­er­ship of “Prov­i­den­cia Ltd”.

The in­di­vid­u­als to be pros­e­cuted were Rus­sian lawyers Igor Zhi­ga­chov, ad­min­is­tra­tor of the ‘Spring’ and ‘Oa­sis’ trust funds, as well as Ar­men Davidyan, Ta­tiana Schegolova, Alaxan­der Zakharov and oth­ers.

Clerides said that the ev­i­dence found that a crim­i­nal case could be charged against Ero­tokri­tou.

He noted that the Kal­lis’ re­port is not bind­ing and said it was a “grim day” for the Law Of­fice of the Repub­lic.

Ero­tokri­tou coun­tered by say­ing that said that if there are in­di­ca­tions that he had been bribed, the At­tor­ney Gen­eral should also be in­ves­ti­gated, as, ac­cord­ing to Ero­tokri­tou, he or­dered the sus­pen­sion of the case against the Rus­sian na­tion­als af­ter re­ceiv­ing a call from their lawyer Pam­bos Ioan­nides.

Ero­tokri­tou also opened an­other old wound by sug­gest­ing that Ioan­nides was in­volved in the Milo­se­vic cases in the 1990s. At the time, Pam­bos Ioan­nides was a ju­nior part­ner in the law of­fice of Tas­sos Papadopoulos, that rep­re­sented Laiki in most cases in­volv­ing the Milo­se­vic money laun­der­ing and the con­spir­acy co­or­di­nated by the then-manager of Beograd­ska Banka in Ni­cosia, Borka Vu­cic.

Ero­tokri­tou said that if he is to face crim­i­nal charges, then the bank ac­counts of Costas Clerides, for­mer At­tor­ney Gen­eral Pet­ros Clerides, Pam­bos Ioan­nides, An­dreas Neo­clous should also be in­ves­ti­gated, in­clud­ing his own.

He also al­leged that the Reg­is­trar of Com­pa­nies Spy­ros Kokki­nos may also be in­volved in the Prov­i­den­cia scan­dal as he al­lowed for the share­holder and di­rec­torate change of the com­pany, with the con­sent of Neo­cleous who was the ad­min­is­tra­tor of the trust at the time.

Costas Clerides was also dis­ap­pointed that Pres­i­dent Ni­cos Anas­tasi­ades got in­volved in the case by is­su­ing a state­ment whereby he ex­pressed his “grief and con­cern”.

The Pres­i­dent said that the cabi­net on Wed­nes­day would look into the ap­point­ment of “in­de­pen­dent crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tors to probe the new data” re­vealed by the Kal­lis re­port and Ero­tokri­tou’s claims.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Cyprus

© PressReader. All rights reserved.