NICOSIA - President Nicos Anastasiades has called on the newly appointed Attorney General Costas Clerides to work for a speedy conclusion of ongoing investigations and bring before the courts those responsible for the unprecedented economic crisis.
Clerides, who replaces Petros Clerides, vowed he would do his utmost to restore the people’s feeling about the rule of law but cautioned against great expectations, saying he is no Messiah.
Clerides assumes his duties as a number of investigations are taking place to pinpoint those responsible for the economic meltdown in the island`s financial system. Cyprus requested and received last March a €10 billion financial assistance package to bail out its two largest banks, which posted mammoth losses due to the Greek sovereign debt haircut and their expansion overseas.
"We have no right to disappoint society," the President stressed, urging the new Attorney- General to swiftly complete the investigations and bring before the courts all those responsible for the economic crisis.
The President said that he will act as the constitution dictates to ensure that justice is delivered, noting that as a result of the financial hardship people are facing, they demand justice.
"You are assuming a momentous task," Anastasiades said turning to Clerides, adding that his ethos, his legal expertise and hard work guarantee that he will cope with the task at hand.
On his part, Clerides described his task as difficult and noted that his work "is rendered more difficult under these adverse and unprecedented circumstances facing the country."
He spoke of a crisis of institutions, a decay of values and corruption which is no longer a rare phenomenon in public life, noting that "the ordinary citizen`s confidence in almost all institutions has degenerated in an alarming degree."
"The people, now, rest all of their hopes on the delivery of justice and the consolidation of the rule of law," Clerides said, assuring that this will be the primary concern of the Law Office of the Republic as well as his own.
Describing the ordinary citizens expectations for a swift delivery of justice as reasonable, Clerides said that he is no "Messiah" but he would exercise his duty and his authority to the full to achieve his goals which could be summarized as equality before the law, restoration of confidence in the institutions and the prevalence of the rule of law.
Furthermore he noted that during his 25-year career he had no interventions at all, expressing hope that this will also be the case in the exercise of his duties.
"Many of the Attorney-General`s decisions are expected to be unpleasant for some," he said, expressing hope that these decisions will be judged with the same impartiality which will govern his decisions.