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They make leaf and feather attorneys

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They make leaf and feather attorneys

Under the microscope of the competent department of the Pancyprian Bar Association, which is in charge of supervising the implementation of the anti-money laundering legislation, are 10 law firms that have submitted more than 50 applications for the acquisition of Cypriot citizenship through ). The list of these law firms also includes the law firm Nikos Chr. Anastasiadis & Partners in which the daughters of President Anastasiadis participate. The law firms Andreas Dimitriadis & Co. Ltd., Areti Haridimou and Associates Ltd., Michalakis Kyprianou & Co. Ltd., Christodoulos Vassiliadis & Co. D are also audited. .Ε.Π.Ε., Ιωάννης Παπαζαχαρία Δ.Ε.Π.Ε, Α.Γ. Erotokritou DEPE, Efthymios K. Joseph & Associates DEPE, Georgios K. Georgiou DEPE and L. Papafilippou and Co. The survey covers the years 2007 to 2020, a period during which the KEP operated, includes on-the-spot checks as well as in-depth questionnaires that the auditees are required to answer and is carried out with the help of two recently recruited experts.

As the president of the Pancyprian Bar Association, Christos Clerides, testified yesterday before the commission of inquiry for the “golden” passports, with his own clear instructions, the supervisory team conducting the investigations emphasizes the following:

  • In the origin of the money that arrived from abroad.
  • In the controlled law firms that were renamed during the period 2007-2020.
  • In the files of persons who have obtained exceptional citizenship as spouses and dependent children of investors.
  • In cases where the amounts provided for the required investments did not come from the applicants themselves but from third parties.

According to Mr. Clerides, the investigation of the Pancyprian Bar Association was extended to the law firms involved in the cases highlighted by the conclusion of the Kalogiros committee, which, as revealed by Mr. Clerides, was secured by President Anastasiadis himself. As he said, after the refusal of the Kalogiros committee and the Ministry of Interior to give him the conclusion, proposing the argument that criminal investigations are underway, Mr. Clerides wrote to the President of the Republic, who, as he said, sent him the conclusion. which reveals the involvement of five other law firms which are currently being investigated for the commission of criminal offenses. The president of the Pancyprian Bar Association also informed the investigative committee that the two recent reports of the Auditor General on the “golden” passports, in which eight other law firms are involved, are being studied. He also said that he would ask Odysseas Michailidis to send him the first report he issued on the subject. This is the case of the sheikh of Saudi Arabia and owner of the private planes with which President Anastasiadis and his family traveled for free for a vacation in the Seychelles. In the case of this Saudi, both he and several members of his family and his wives (more than one) were exceptionally naturalized. It is noted that for the naturalizations in question, the Kalogirou commission found at first sight the commission of criminal offenses and therefore a criminal investigation is underway.

Mr. Clerides in his testimony stated that in the context of the ongoing investigation by the Pancyprian Bar Association for KEP he asked the Minister of Interior N. Nouris and the list of providers to determine which law firms are involved and how many applications for naturalization submitted by each. Mr. Nouris refused to give him the specific data, saying that the list is being updated! It is noted that the same information was requested by Mr. Nouris and the Parliamentary Audit Committee, but without receiving it. According to his own research and based on what came to light, Mr. Clerides stated that about 200 law firms were involved in the KEP, of which 10 filed more than 50 applications, 25 law firms filed between 10 and 50 applications, while the rest count below 10 applications.

The first inspections in 2019

Through yesterday's testimony of Mr. Clerides, it was revealed that the control mechanism of the Pancyprian Bar Association for KEP was activated only in 2019 and until the day it took over, ie on 15/10/2020, investigations were in progress in seven law firms, the which have not yet been completed. He assured, at the same time, that the level of investigations is very high and that it will not be given to anyone. Answering questions from members of the committee, Mr. Clerides confirmed that in the BoD. of the Pancyprian Bar Association is represented by a lawyer who has submitted several applications for exceptional naturalization of investors. So far no objections have been raised against him, nor has his name been mentioned anywhere to justify his exclusion from the council meetings, he stressed. Mr. Clerides also informed the members of the investigative committee that from 2013 to 2019 the Pancyprian Bar Association dealing with money laundering carried out 600 on-the-spot checks that mainly concerned issues related to the purchase and sale of real estate related to with KEP, the Panama Papers etc. As he said, from the audits that were carried out, administrative fines were imposed on eight law firms, two of which are currently being audited for their involvement in the KEP.

The lawyer N. Anastasiadis

Answering questions from the members of the research committee, Mr. Clerides stated that the law firm Nikos Chr. Anastasiadis & Partners is not included in the eight law firms that were sentenced to an administrative fine by the Pancyprian Bar Association for violations of the current legislation on money laundering. “I have not seen it (including the law firm) either in the Kalogirou report or in the auditor general's report,” said Christos Clerides. Adding that in the past MOKAS investigated the law firm in question because of some of its clients, but without revealing anything wrong.

Pittatzis and others

The first lawyer to be taken to the Disciplinary Board of the Pancyprian Bar Association for KEP is Andreas Pittatzis after the revelations of Al Jazeera. With Mr. Clerides addressing yesterday with his statements, after the end of his submission to the investigative committee, a recommendation to all the lawyers involved to avoid public statements. The members of the research committee made the following remarks to Mr. Christos Clerides, inviting him to comment on them:

  • A lawyer applied for exceptional naturalization while his client was being arrested abroad.
  • A lawyer stated his client under two different names.
  • Employees of law firms made recommendations for KEP applicants.

“These are disciplinary offenses which will be referred for trial,” said Mr. Clerides. Announcing, at the same time, that the decisions of the Disciplinary Board will be made public.

Chr. Clerides / Nikolatos Committee: Law firms under investigation on the issue of naturalizations

Source: politis.com.cy

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