The investigation of a high-profile scandal of Golden passports by Investment in Cyprus continues.
On Tuesday 29 March, the Ad Hoc Committee announced that they would submit an interim report to the Attorney General of Cyprus on 6 April.
The head of the Committee and ex-chairman of the Supreme Court Myron Nikolatos said that the interim report turned out to be voluminous and contains more than 100 pages.
The dossier covers naturalization cases from 2007 to 2016. It will also present some of the cases of the issuance of Cyprus passports up to 2020 to persons of the high risk group.
Nikolatos noted that the interim report includes cases marked as potentially criminal in nature, which may require further investigation by law enforcement agencies.
'These cases can become public, but without names or other data that could identify specific individuals,' the head of the Committee emphasized.
It is worth noting that earlier the Prosecutor General of Cyprus stated that all the reports of the Special Committee will be made public, but the names and addresses of investors will be hidden, in accordance with the NDA data privacy law.
As you may know, the statements of Al Jazeera, in which the names of several foreigners who received Cypriot citizenship were made public, caused a huge scandal and verbal skirmish between the opposition and the government of the country.
In response to Al Jazeera's investigation, authorities initially condemned the channel for propaganda and attempts to tarnish the island's reputation. However, later they decided to conduct their own investigation.
An ad hoc committee was established whose members were instructed to examine all investors who have received Cypriot passports over the past few years.
At the beginning of 2020, public hearings of witnesses in gold passport cases began in Cyprus. The Special Committee has already interrogated former Finance Minister Harris Georgiades, Acting Finance Minister Konstantinos Petrides, Archbishop Chrysostomos, Head of the Bar Christos Clerides, Director of Icpac (Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Cyprus) Kyriakos Jordan, President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades, as well as the head of the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) Constantinos Herodotou.
After the closure of the Citizenship by Investment program, about 660 applications for passports still remain pending. Of these: 238 relate to foreign investors and 422 to dependents.
The government demanded from the parliament to allocate EUR 10.3 million to support the process of their verification, to cover the work of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. However, so far the process has not budged.
Photos: pixabay.com, cyprus-mail