Augean Stables? Broom for Cyprus

Update 24 April 24 Cyprus Mail


According to Socrates Hasikos, Interior Minister, seven land registry officials are under criminal or disciplinary investigation in relation to allegations of corruption, bribery, embroilment, violation of personal data laws and depriving the state of revenue.


If the populist press in Germany was short of stories to run on Cyprus they certainly don't have to look too far.


First came accusations of massive deposit withdrawals just before the bailout that allegedly came perilously close to the president, then a list was published of alleged loan forgiveness to politicians, then the Attorney General admitted that he arranged for the prosecution of his son on a drunk-driving charge to be dropped - because he would have done it for someone else's son (the son in question was 32) - and now the ex-chair of the Cyprus energy regulator is under investigation for 'serious misconduct' following a report from the AG to the Cabinet.


Here's how the Cyprus Mail reported the story.


The head of DEFA natural gas public company is to be sacked following accusations of 'serious misconduct' by the government spokesman following an Attorney General report to the cabinet.


A PROBE is underway into possible criminal offences committed by Costas Ioannou in his previous role as head of the energy regulator.



Last week the Cabinet took a political decision to sack Ioannou from his current position as head of the natural gas public company DEFA. He headed energy regulator CERA in 2009. The move followed a report submitted to the cabinet by the Attorney-general, with the government spokesman speaking of “serious misconduct.”


Ioannou, who has the right of appeal, ... but said that he planned to contest the decision.


The investigation into Ioannou draws on an ongoing civil lawsuit filed which concerns a licence awarded to a Russian company to operate a private power station. The licence was given in 2009 while Ioannou was chairman of the energy regulator, CERA.


To obtain the licence, the company had engaged the services of Andreas Hayiannis as a mediator/facilitator. Hayiannis is a relative of Ioannou’s.

PEC Powerenergy, the Russian company that Hayiannis was assisting, was a ‘special purpose vehicle’ whose ultimate goal was to sell its shares to another concern once it had acquired the licence from the energy regulator.


In addition to helping with the licence, Hayiannis’ arrangement with the Russian company also involved seeking out possible buyers for the Russian company.


But according to Hayiannis’ sworn statement, the deal went sour in 2011 when a British company acquired all the shares of PEC Powerenergy.


The first meeting to sound out the British company took place at Nicosia’s Hilton hotel in September 2011. Giorgos Lillikas, a former commerce and foreign minister and a candidate in the recent presidential elections attended the meeting. 


'Lillikas, Hayiannis and Ioannou hail from the village of Panagia, Paphos.'


 Cyprus Mail Hazou 16 April 2013


It must be remembered that the three cases above - save that of the AG to which he blithely admitted responsibility on the grounds of paternal duty - are under investigation and no-one is being prosecuted.

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