NICOSIA - Attorney General Costas Clerides on Thursday gave the green light for a police investigation to look into how a private conversation between a lawyer and his client was leaked to the media.
The recordings, which were made on September 5, 22 and 23 last year, were featured on both Sigma Television and Politis newspaper and revealed confidential conversations on the Dromolaxia case by key witness Nicos Lillis and his defence lawyer Georgios Georgiou.
Georgiou claims that somebody – who was present at the meetings – had recorded the sessions and then leaked them. Other media outlets yesterday claimed that it was the wife of Lillis who had recorded the sessions and then passed them on to one of the lawyers who in turn had supplied them to a political party.
The Larnaca-based lawyer yesterday sent an official complaint to the police prompting the attorney general to spring into action.
“The first issue to be raised here is that of the illegal recordings of a private confidential discussion between lawyer and client in, no other, than in the lawyer’s office”, commented Georgiou. “It is my hope that police investigators do not stand idle and instead look into this issue which is just as serious as the Dromolaxia scandal.”
Interior Minister Socrates Hasikos said he didn’t believe the leaked recordings – which appeared to implicate other officials and a ruling party MP – would not have a bearing on the ongoing trials.
“I don’t believe that they [the recordings] can upstage the court proceedings because they are already underway. Some of the defendants have already been referred to the criminal court to answer to the charges while others will be tried at the district court. I have total faith in the legal system and I firmly believe that the courts will ignore all that has been published concerning these recordings”
The recordings 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.
It concerns the alleged bribing of a police and Cyprus Intelligence Services officer.
The defendants in the Dromolaxia trial are head of the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CyTA) trade union (EPOET) Orestis Vasiliou, Cyta marketing manager Yiannis Souroullas and his brother Cytavision head Gregoris Souroullas, Akel members Venizelos Zanettos and Christos Alekou, jewellery shop owner Antonis Ioakim, ex-CyTA boss Stathis Kittis, former Electricity Authority (EAC) chief Charalambos Tsouris and the company Polleson Holdings Ltd.
They are all facing 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 and then sold the following year to the CyTA Pension Fund for a disproportionately high price. The land provisions were upgraded suspiciously fast while several high-ranking CyTA officials resigned in the wake of the investigation.