The Cyprus government is set to discuss the possibility of cancelling its contract with Nicosia bus company OSEL following the recent criminal conviction of its president and vice president.
On Monday, Communications Minister Marios Demetriades told state radio that he had reached out to Attorney General Costas Clerides for legal advice on what direction his ministry should take following the letter of recommendation from Auditor General Odysseas Michaelides.
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Michaelides said the recent convictions of OSEL President Iordanis Iordanous and his number two Kyriakos Kyriakou had effectively brought into question the credibility of OSEL and called on the government to sever all ties with the company and to begin the search for new companies to take over the Nicosia bus routes.
“A number of issues concerning OSEL need to be discussed and addressed which is why consultations need to take place with the attorney general,” said Demetriades.
Demetriades added that legal advice would also be sought over whether Iordanous and Kyriakou can return to their positions once they have served their convictions, especially if the government decides to stick with OSEL.
“This is again something that we need to discuss with the attorney general. But OSEL is a private company so we will need legal clarification on that matter.”
A 15-month suspended prison sentence was handed down to Iordanous and Kyriakou on Friday after they admitted filing false fuel receipts to the state for reimbursement to the tune of €77,556.
The swindle had been unearthed by Michaelides and an investigation and subsequent prosecution followed.
After admitting over a hundred criminal charges of fraud, theft and conspiracy, the duo were then convicted by a Nicosia magistrate but avoided jail time.
The auditor general also said the government should hold back on paying OSEL some €4million in overtime costs. Michaelides further requested from the council of motor transport to look into revoking OSEL’s operating license.