The Supreme Court on Monday rejected claims of favouritism in its decisions levelled by lawyer Nicos Clerides, saying they were an overt attack that painted a distorted picture of its work.
In a lengthy letter last week, Nicos Clerides had made a series of allegations after being asked by the Bar Association to back up earlier claims that the law firm of Chrysafinis & Polyviou benefited from favourable treatment in the Supreme Court because it employed relatives of Supreme Court judges.
His letter gave a list of relatives of Supreme Court judges currently or previously employed at the law firm.
Clerides, who is the brother of attorney general Costas Clerides, said this explained why the state had lost a number of high profile cases, including those involving the Bank of Cyprus. The Cyprus Bar Association is due to meet on Thursday to discuss the lawyer’s allegations.
The law firm of Chrysafinis & Polyviou on Monday categorically denied the allegations saying they were unsubstantiated, in bad faith, defamatory and totally unacceptable.
The government has said the issue concerned the judiciary, and given the separation of powers, would not for the time being at least, be making a statement.
In an extensive announcement, the Supreme Court on Monday said that Nicos Clerides’ allegations were unfounded and an insult to the reputation of the justice system and the integrity of its officers. It said the court respected due process at all times adding that repeated, blind rhetoric against judges and court decisions gradually creates a chasm between courts and citizens and erodes society’s confidence in the judicial process.
In a separate announcement also issued on Monday, Supreme Court president Myron Nikolattos spoke of an attempt to tarnish his name, saying that out-of-court settlements between relatives and the Bank of Cyprus were all above board.