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Odysseas Michaelidis: He woke up the bogeyman with the Saudi scandal and the contribution of €500,000 – What the First Lady said

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ΟδυσσΕασ Μιχαη λλδης: Ξλπνησε τον μπαμπολλα με τ&omicron ; σκανδαλο του Σαουδαραβα και τη&nu ; εισφορa €500,000 – Τι εiπε η Πρoτη Κυρiα

The need to put safeguards in place for the contributions made to the Independent Social Support Agency and whose fund is managed by a committee chaired by Filippa Karsera Christodoulidis, stressed the Auditor GeneralOdysseas Michaelidis. p>

The latter clearly expressed his positions in the Institutions parliamentary committee where the law proposal of MP Nikos Georgiou, co-signed by his colleague Kyriakos Hatzigiannis, was discussed, and aims to keep a register of the contributions made to the Agency and to make them public (they invoke the need for accountability and transparency).< /p>

It is characteristic that Odysseas Michaelidis, in his attempt to overemphasize that the issue of contributions to this Agency is essential, recalled the case of the Saudi businessman, Abdul-rahman Khalid Salen bin Mahfouz, the private jetswhich was used by the former President of the Republic, Nikos Anastasiadis, in his travels. The Saudi shortly after the naturalization of himself and members of his family, which was covered under scandalous conditions, had made a contribution of 500,000 euros to the Agency, which was then headed by Andri Anastasiadou, the wife of the former President of the Republic.

Although Mr. Michaelidis was particularly careful in his reports, clarifying that there is not even a question of suspicion of illegality regarding the management of the Agency's fund from 2023 until today, nevertheless, in his attempt to show that there is a serious regarding the persons making contributions, he said: “Let me remind you of what is published in the report we issued in 2020 (31/1/2020) on the air travel of the former President of the Republic, Mr. Anastasiadis. The well-known Saudi by plane, on 7/4/2016, a few months after he was naturalized, his five brothers and 36 relatives, including his second wife illegally, which constitutes a criminal offense, contributed 500,000 euros to the Support Agency as a Cypriot citizen”.

Mr. Michaelidis also stated that according to the information available to his Service, in 2019 a person with a Russian or Ukrainian name, who does not appear to have received Cypriot citizenship, had contributed 250,000 euros. He added, in fact, that in the state of the General Accounting Office for contributions to the Independent Social Support Agency in 2019, this person does not appear in foreign contributions. He claimed ignorance of the reason.

The Auditor General gave other relevant examples, concluding that limits should be set in legislation, as far as contributions are concerned. At another point, he pointedly stated: “We don't make laws for angel societies, we make them to cover cases of people who are entangled and want for whatever reason to serve something that is not legal or in some cases not moral.”

Previously, Odysseas Michaelidis referred to other legislations that provide support for persons who for exceptional reasons are unable to study (as well as the Law governing the establishment of the Agency). He commented on this: “In general, we as a Service consider it too dangerous to have many support mechanisms. They give the opportunity for abuse not by those who give the support, but by those who receive the support”.

The Pancypriot Bar Association does not disagree with the proposed Law. This results from the positions expressed by the lawyer and chairman of the PDS committee on issues of preventing Money Laundering and Illegal Activities and preventing the violation of sanctions, Pantelis Christofidis. In fact, he made recommendations for legislative provisions that will result in the strengthening of due diligence controls regarding the origin of contributions, but also for the establishment of a mechanism in order to deal with a possible conflict of interest.

The wife of the President of the Republic, Filippa Karseras Christodoulidis, also participated in the discussion. Her presence on the committee was welcomed by participants in the meeting, regardless of their positions. The first lady referred to the important role played by the Agency, referring to examples and called on the MPs to protect it. He explained that any disclosure of the names of those who contributed would discourage them from donating. “Be careful not to harm our children” was the concluding comment in her lengthy statement before the committee.

On the same wavelength were the statements of her Accountant General Andreas Antoniadis of Democracy. The latter, due to his status, is the treasurer of the Agency's management committee. He was strongly and staunchly opposed to the regulation to publish the names of natural or legal persons who make contributions, saying that there is control over the origin of the money contributed. “Any control measures will reduce the fund's resources,” he concluded.

Source: www.philenews.com

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