No one is allowed to participate in the sale of property in the occupied territories, says Michalis Vorkas – The building facilities of the Nicosia courts are in a “rut”
No member of the Pancypriot Bar Association (PDS) to advocate or participate in the disposal of Greek Cypriot properties in the occupied, said on Wednesday the President of the PDS, Mihalis Vorkas. He also referred to the efforts to prevent money laundering due to the investigation of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists “Cyprus Confidential”, saying that cases involving serious violations and illegalities “will not remain in the drawer” but “will names are also made public”.
Speaking during an information meeting of the PDS with journalists, in Nicosia, Mr. Vorkas referred to the problems faced by the legal world, but also to the goals of the PDS. He said that the PDS has been “targeted” several times for various situations and suggested that Cypriot society may have received some “wrong messages”.
He continued, saying that while there are some, “isolated cases” of lawyers acting in an illegal or reprehensible manner, he said, the vast majority is not how it works.
He mentioned that the issue of preventing money laundering from illegal activities is something that has concerned the PDS and is being discussed in the last period of time, even after the publication of Cyprus Confidential, as it is something that “exposes Cyprus internationally”. He focused on the fact that these are some “individual cases” that participated in such illegal activities and are controlled by the PDS.
“Be sure that those cases involving serious violations and illegalities will not be left in the drawer, but they will come out and names will be made public”, underlined Mr. Vorkas, saying that “we must protect society and society trust us”.
At the same time, he noted that the fundamental right of unhindered and confidential lawyer-client communication will not be ignored, noting that it will not be acceptable for the supervision of lawyers to fall into the hands of third parties.
Speaking of the Cyprus problem, Mr. Vorkas emphasized that no one will be allowed by his actions to directly or indirectly recognize the illegal status of the occupied and to advocate or participate in the sale of Greek Cypriot properties to the occupied.
The building facilities of the Nicosia courts are in a “rut”.
He also said that today the Nicosia courts should not continue to be in this “mess”, saying that pressure should be exerted in the right direction and the State should find the right place.
Mr. Vorkas noted that the necessary personnel are absent from the courts, which, he said, would help in the quick processing of procedures. “It cannot and does not make sense for someone to wait five to ten years for their case to be tried and when it is tried and the decision is issued to wait another three months for it to be typed,” he said.
He also touched on the issue of low-wage remuneration of young lawyers saying that solutions should be found in this matter as well.
Aim for the PDS to become an International Arbitration Center
Speaking about the goals of the PDS, Mr. Vorkas said that one of them is to make the PDS an International Arbitration Center, explaining that not only Cypriot citizens but also foreigners could use Cyprus as a place to resolve their disputes.< /p>
He indicated that such arbitration centers operate in many countries in a time- and cost-saving manner. He noted that the promotion of this issue will provide an opportunity for the legal world to open other horizons. He stated that the PDS is diligently proceeding with the preparation of a register of arbitrators from Cyprus and abroad, who will possess the necessary qualifications.
At the same time, he continued, there are plans to provide training for lawyers as well as other organizations such as are the OEB and the KEBE.
“Next to the journalists” on matters of journalistic confidentiality
Mr. Vorkas pointed out that the PDS has a “very essential role” to play in Cypriot society and Cypriot events, intervening in various issues that concern not only justice, but more generally the issues that concern the country.
“As co-workers of justice that we are, as lawyers who know the law, we should make interventions to correct situations or build certain things correctly and constructively in the interest of society,” he said.
Mr. Vorkas recognized that the way journalists act is, to some extent, “identified” with that of lawyers and explained that through their action journalists serve the interest of Cypriot society.
“We are by your side on matters of journalistic confidentiality,” he said to reporters, adding that privacy is the crown jewel for both lawyers and journalists.
“If you are forced to reveal the source of your information it means essentially that they deprive you of freedom of expression”, he said.