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State doctor put behind bars over kickbacks

The Criminal Court in Nicosia on Friday sentenced a Nicosia doctor to two years in prison after finding him guilty of over 100 criminal charges relating to corruption and bribery.

Dr. Vasken Shahbenderian – who worked at the Otorhinolaryngology (Ear, Nose and Throat) Clinic of Nicosia General Hospital – was on July 25 found guilty of 112 charges.

These were connected to the illegal referral of patients to the Efthymiades Audiology Center on 25 occasions between December 28, 2010 and September 9, 2013.

Passing sentence, the Court on Friday said the seriousness of the crime meant a suspended sentence would not be appropriate.

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Shahbenderian was paid a total of €16,330 by Efthymiades Audiology Center for sending patients their way within his capacity as the doctor responsible for approving government subsidy applications for people with hearing difficulties.

Shahbenderian had previously told the court the money had been a gift of appreciation from the audiology centre not a bribe and says he has returned the funds.

The head of the ENT Department at Nicosia General Yiannakis Kyamides was in May sentenced to two and a half years in prison on similar charges.

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