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‘Inmates enrolling in detox programs to avoid jail time’

Attorney General Costas Clerides has denied claims that he is allowing convicted drug dealers out of jail time because they are participating in rehabilitation programs at the Agia Skepi Therapeutic Community.

According to accusations from outspoken MP Irene Charalambidou, many inmates – some even sentenced for serious drug offences – are getting out of prison time by simply enrolling at Agia Skepi.

In a letter sent to Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou, Charalambidou said that she had proof of inmates being released from prison following approved requests from the Agia Skepi administrators to the Attorney General’s office.

Clerides, meanwhile, has denied those claims arguing that he would never approve pre-release from prison to convicted serious drug trafficker simply because they enrolled into a detoxification program.

He also said that he did not have the authority to release people from prison adding that only the Cyprus President had that kind of power.

The long term therapeutic community of Agia Skepi is a private non for profit organisation that provides services to long term depended substance users and their families in an “inpatient and outpatient setting”.

The main goal of the program is total abstinence from illicit drugs and alcohol. The facility is located in Politiko village in the outskirts of Nicosia, in a privately owned building within 50 acres of land that belongs to the Holy Abbey of ‘Machaira’.

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