Chronicles of the Cyprus Passport Saga Part 13

Хроники кипрской саги о паспортах. Часть 13
24 December 2020 Liza Medvetskaya
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The Cypriot government will publish on Tuesday, December 29 the report of the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Demetra Kalogirou.

This was announced by the head of the press service of the President of Cyprus Viktoras Papadopoulos.

The report will be regarding 12 investors who got golden passports according to the Citizenship by Investment program. Among them:

  • Joe Lowe, who is accused of withdrawing billions of dollars from the state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB)
  • citizen of the Dominican Republic of Iranian descent Mehdi Ebrahimi Eshratabadi and his son
  • two Russians and their family members, naturalized in 2012 and wanted by the authorities of their country for financial fraud
  • Chinese Zhang Shumin, naturalized with his family, wanted by the Chinese authorities in a gold fraud case.

Хроники кипрской саги о паспортах. Часть 13

The government's decision was commented on by the country's President Nicos Anastasiades. He denied claims that he opposed the release of data on foreign investors.

The president's remarks came against the backdrop of an escalating conflict with the head of the DIKO party, Nicholas Papadopoulos, who says the government is obstructing the auditor general and is not allowing an investigation into the passport scheme because he fears its results.

In a response letter to Papadopoulos, the president confirmed that he is ready to step down if any investigation into the scheme reveals that he was involved in any corruption or illegal actions.

Anastasiades stressed that the results of the investigation carried out by the chairman of the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, Demetra Kalogirou, following comments from the Attorney General, the Anti-Money Laundering Department and the Personal Data Protection Commissioner will be released on December 29.

Edited extracts will also be published after the completion of criminal investigations (but there will be no information with personal data).

'I would like to refer to the obvious thing and remind that the purpose of investigative committees is to demonstrate any political, disciplinary or criminal responsibility. Therefore, I do not want to undermine the work of the Commission of Inquiry or any other investigations that the Attorney General may deem appropriate to satisfy someone's petty political goal,' Anastasiades said.

The President expressed his concern that some individuals are trying to discredit Commission members, insisting on the appointment of an investigation on each specific official, former member of a certain party, even if, according to the constitution, this official does not have the appropriate authority.

Anastasiades stated that in the same way as the Kalogirou report, any interim report, as well as the final report of the Commission of Inquiry, chaired by former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Nikolatos, will be made public.

'My concern is not limited to any conclusions to the detriment of the president or the government, but to what some may hide in relation to specific law firms,' the president concluded.

Хроники кипрской саги о паспортах. Часть 13

As you may know, Odysseus Michaelides earlier asked the Special Commission under the leadership of the Prosecutor General, to find out whether the niece of the First Lady of Cyprus was involved in the Golden passports.

As it became known, Michaelides made this request last week, testifying before the Commission, which is tasked with investigating all citizenships granted to foreign investors between 2007 and 17 August 2020.

According to preliminary data, Maria Adamidou-Pastelli, niece of the first lady Andri Anastasiades and cousin of the daughters of the President of Cyprus, began working in the office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs on June 10, 2013 under the leadership of the ex-Minister of Internal Affairs, who at that time was Sokratis Chasikos.

Daughters of President Nikos Anastasiades Elsa and Ino became partners in their father's law firm immediately after the presidential elections in February 2013, when Anastasiades left the firm.

Chronicles of the Cyprus Passport Saga:

Source: philenews.com, cyprus-mail
Photos: pixabay.com, cyprus-mail
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