Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou on Wednesday continued his series of meetings with political parties towards formulating a legislative package to battle police corruption.
Speaking after a meeting with Citizens’ Alliance leader George Lillikas, Nicolaou said the aim was for a package that would be supported by all the parties with a say in parliament.
“We want to be able to send out a clear message: That the state and legislative power are determined to, together and collectively, battle what corruption in the police,” Nicolaou said.
Acknowledging the problem had been going on for a long time, the Minister said allowing it to continue would encourage it to grow even more.
“The legislative framework we have prepared, as was apparent in today’s meeting, gives police significant ‘weapons’ with which to effectively investigate this phenomenon and get some people before the courts, while also sending out a clear message to all involved in or intending to become involved in corruption that, from now, they will not receive the same treatment as in the past,” Nicolaou continued.
He added that a zero tolerance policy had to be backed up by suitable legal recourse.
Three independent investigators also got to work last month after being appointed by Attorney General Costas Clerides to begin probing claims of corruption within the police force.
Clerides moved to appoint Andreas Paschalides – former judge of the Supreme Court and president of the Independent Authority for the Investigation of Allegations and Complaints Against the Police (IACAP) and former police officials Panayiotis Pelagias and Agamemnon Demetriou.
All three men have been tasked with probing any possible corruption within the police, particularly following the recent telephone call incident when an officer, under still unclear circumstances, contacted a man alleged to have carried out the killing of Ayia Napa businessman Phanos Kalopsidiotis, an off-duty policeman and his wife earlier in the summer.