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No political pressure to drop economy probe

Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou has categorically denied that Cyprus was being pressurised not to investigate the collapse of the economy in 2013.

Referring to statements made by Nicolas Papadopoulos, leader of DIKO, Nicolaou stated that in light of the government’s determination to investigate the banks and the collapse of the economy, “Mr Papadopoulos’ statements are a cause for surprise”.

Immediately following the formation of the government, an investigative committee was established under a former president of the Hugh Court, Georgios Pikis, whose report is now being examined by investigators.

A special investigative team has been assembled including 30 experienced police investigators, accountants and experts in financial crimes from Cyprus and abroad whilst special software has been acquired to assist with the investigations.

“Mr Papadopoulos is aware that the Legal Services are prosecuting the case and that all the investigations and questioningare being conducted by the police,” said Nicolaou.

“Statements taken from people involved in the investigations are coordinated by the Legal Services. These will be reviewed once the necessary evidence has been collected by following the necessary court procedures which are time-consuming,” he added.

The ministry has no involvement in the investigations other than the forwarding of court warrants which are prepared by investigating authorities, with the approval of the Attorney General.

The actions taken are always made in consultation with the Attorney General.  “The objections raised to the Greek judicial authorities regarding a recent court decision not to grant the extradition of suspects to Cyprus believed to be involved in the collapse of the economy , should not be ignored”, concluded Nicolaou.

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