The planned demolition of Ktima Makenzy in Larnaca has been postponed after the tenants obtained a temporary injunction from the Supreme Court.
The latest twist in a protracted legal battle means that moves by the Interior Ministry to comply with a Larnaca district court ruling to demolish the building and return it to its rightful owners have been put on hold until February 24.
On that date, the Interior Ministry and Larnaca Municipality must appear before the Supreme Court to explain why the temporary injunction prohibiting the demolition should not be made permanent.
Last Friday, Larnaca District Court gave the Interior Ministry a one month extension — that is until March 20 — to comply with a demolition order of Ktima Makenzy.
The property has been at the centre of a legal wrangle after the Turkish Cypriot owner successfully sued the Interior Ministry as the custodian of Turkish Cypriot property for its return. The Interior Ministry then obtained an eviction order against the tenant, who contested that decision in court.
The owner sued the Interior Ministry for failure to comply with the initial court decision to return the property to the owner – who is a British citizen and therefore not subject to legislation on property owned by Turkish Cypriots living in the Turkish held north.
Lawyers for the tenants said that only the owner can request a demolition order, therefore the order obtained by the ministry was illegal.
Should this position be upheld by the court, then the Turkish Cypriot may apply for a demolition order, the lawyer added.