Bailiffs yesterday confiscated official cars belonging to the state from the Legal Service, including the BMW used by Attorney General Costas Klerides.
The seizure was carried out following a pending court decree as it emerged that the state owes approximately €5 million to Athos Parisinos following the expropriation of his property by the Education Ministry in 2001 to develop a primary school.
Speaking to CyBC, Klerides said that the bailiffs were acting at the applicant’s instructions to retrieve property owned by the state in order to sell it.
The AG added that the amount owed by the state had not been paid and that several efforts have been made to confiscate property as the state is the debtor.
He did not stand in the way and told the bailiffs to go about their business, noting however that the situation is humiliating for the state, its institutions and its officials.
“The Attorney General could not under any circumstances intervene in the judicial procedure, which seems to be happening to satisfy the court decision,” Klerides said.
The decree also involved the confiscation of the car used by Deputy Attorney General Rikkos Erotokitou which was however not there at the time.
Klerides’ vehicle was towed away at around 2pm (photo) after the AG instructed his driver to retrieve his personal belongings from the car and hand the keys over to the bailiffs.
Interior Minister Socrates Hasikos said yesterday that in 2001 compensation worth €1million was paid to the owner for expropriation of the 10,020 square-metre plot.
In February 2010 the owner claimed back the property as it had not yet been utilised and the amount was returned to the state. In May of the same year the Education Ministry announced a new expropriation of the property and compensation was estimated at €5 million which was not paid and led the owner to file a lawsuit.
“Officials at the Education Ministry who handled the issue owe explanations as to why they let the deadline pass and then three months later went ahead with a new expropriation at five times the price,” Hasikos said.