Nicos Lillis, the businessman who is set to testify as a key witness in the Dromolaxia land scandal trial, was yesterday fuming after confidential conversations he had with his lawyer were leaked.
The recordings, which were made on September 5, 22 and 23 last year, were featured on both Sigma Television and Politis newspaper yesterday and noted confidential conversations concerning the Dromolaxia case and the strategy that Lillis was planning to take.
Deputy Attorney General Rikkos Erotokritou, yesterday issued an announcement denying malpractice after his name was also mentioned in the recordings.
“I never spoke about this case before because I didn’t feel it was right considering that there are court proceedings ongoing,” said an angry Lillis yesterday to Sigma TV reporters.
“But I do find it outrageous and incredible to be seeing on television and in newspapers, private discussions that I was having with my lawyer. This is unbelievable!
“This cannot be allowed to happen in a civilised society. Why did this happen?”
Lillis also questioned the motive and the timing behind the leaking of the recordings which pinpointed certain government officials and also implied outside pressure that Lillis endured not to testify against certain defendants in the upcoming Dromolaxia trial at the Larnaca Criminal Court on March 7.
“What is also disturbing is that illegal tapping was used to get these recordings and were then given out to the public… I do not know who is behind this or who to suspect.
“But I ask you this; why did these recording get exposed today when eight people made their first appearance before the court yesterday?
“Do you not find this odd?”
Erotokritou meanwhile denied that a deal had been brokered with the Attorney General’s Office.
The tapes implied that Lillis, who is also the Alki football club chairman, would testify against the defendants in the Dromolaxia trial in exchange for lenient handling in his own case which is simultaneously taking place at the Larnaca District Court and concerns the alleged bribing of a police and Cyprus Intelligence Services officer.
“The handling of the case is being conducted in an orderly and strict manner just like all other cases, far away from favouritism, bias towards any persons and in accordance with the interests of justice,” Erotokritou said in a written announcement yesterday.
“The only proper authority, according to constitution and the law, to judge and to deliver justice in this serious case, is the court.”
He then called for “justice to take its course, in other words, for the court to do its duty”.
The defendants in the Dromolaxia trial are the Head of the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CyTA) trade union (EPOET) Orestis Vasiliou, CyTA marketing manager Yiannis Souroullas, his brother Cytavision head Gregoris Souroullas, Akel members Venizelos Zanettos and Christos Alekou, jewellery shop owner Antonis Ioakim, ex-CyTA chief Stathis Kittis, former Electricity Authority boss Charalambos Tsouris and the company Polleson Holdings Ltd.
They were scheduled to stand trial separately but will now be grouped together after a joint charge sheet was submitted to the court.
The defendants, released on €100,000 bail each, face 33 counts including conspiracy to commit a crime, bribery, fraud and abuse of authority.
The property in question was bought from a Turkish Cypriot man in 2010 for €10 million and sold the following year to the CyTA Pension Fund for €22m.
The land provisions were upgraded suspiciously fast while several high-ranking Cyta officials resigned in the wake of the investigation.