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Paphos officials get jail time for SAPA scandal

Five former Paphos municipal officials involved in the Paphos Sewerage Board (SAPA) scandal have received prison sentences from four to five years each.

The five were found guilty of charges which included among others; fraud, bribery and abuse of power.

Paphos Criminal Court handed down a four-year prison sentence to former Disy councillor Giorgos Michaelides, Diko councillor Efstathios Efstathiou, Akel councillor Vasos Vasileiou and former MP and Mayor Feidias Sarikas.

Former Akel councillor Giorgos Shailis received a four-year prison sentence for the charges against him and an additional six months for intervening in court proceedings. The sentences will not run concurrently.

The latter charge involves Shailis’ involvement with another former Pahos Mayor Savvas Vergas – who is currently serving time in prison in connection with a previous SAPA swindle in the town that defrauded the public purse out of millions of euros – sometime between December 2012 and January 2013 to arrange more bribes.

In passing judgement, the presiding judge said that despite taking into account various leniency factors, the severity of the crimes justified the sentences imposed on each of the men.

The marathon trial had gotten underway back in 2015.

State prosecutors had accused Sarikas of receiving bribes to arrange for Awatech, a German company bidding for SAPA contracts, to secure the job of constructing and operating the Paphos biological station.

The defendants were also behind a consortium called ‘Medcon Constructions Ltd’ that it had signed a €16.6million contract with SAPA – although that figure later swelled to €22.9m.

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