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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 01-11-14

Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus Mail at <http://www.cyprus-mail.com/>


Wednesday, November 14, 2001

CONTENTS

  • [01] Cassoulides warns window of opportunity will soon close
  • [02] Death crash driver jailed for 15 months
  • [03] Land scam suspects set to be charged this week
  • [04] Matsakis: Medical Association are trying to gag me
  • [05] Two killed on the roads
  • [06] Bomb wrecks car in Limassol

  • [01] Cassoulides warns window of opportunity will soon close

    By Jean Christou

    ALL EFFORTS to restart the UN-led proximity talks should be directed towards Turkey, Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides said yesterday in New York.

    And the Cyprus News Agency quoted Cassoulides as saying said he did not believe there would be a resumption of talks this year, warning that any window of opportunity that might be open now would close by this time next year.

    " The focus of our meetings here is the continuation of efforts to resume the negotiating process, as this is defined by UN resolutions," Cassoulides told journalists after President Glafcos Clerides had met with Britain's envoy Lord David Hannay and the UN Secretary-general's Special Adviser for Cyprus Alvaro de Soto.

    Cassoulides said Clerides was ready to return to the talks and that any efforts to kick start the process should be directed to the Turkish side.

    "Neither the UN Secretary General nor others who support his efforts are asking anything of us, either to make any moves or concessions to entice Denktash to return to the talks," the Minister said.

    " The ball is not in our court."

    Cassoulides added that Denktash's recent invitation to Clerides for a face- to-face meeting outside the UN mediation process could not be regarded as a genuine attempt to restart the talks.

    Responding to questions on whether there was any possibility the talks might resume this year, Cassoulides said: "Personally I do not see any chance of that, if I can make a prediction."

    He also said the government would exercise its right of reply to a speech to the UN General Assembly by Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem on Monday.

    In his speech, Cem issued new warnings over Cyprus, saying the island's accession to the EU would carry to " dangerous consequences"both for the island and the region.

    He warned that " the imposition of artificial solutions to the Cyprus problem"would result in a crisis much worse than the existing one and pledged that Turkey would never let the Turkish Cypriots be reduced to the status of a minority.

    Cem said he supported Denktash's call for face-to-face talks with Clerides, which he said had been rejected by the Greek Cypriot side.

    However, the Cyprus government believes the Turkish Cypriot side's attempt to talk directly is a ploy to bypass the UN, since Denktash has refused to return to the negotiating table. Clerides says he will meet Denktash if the Turkish Cypriot side returns to the proximity talks.

    Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou yesterday officially responded to Cem's comments and denied the Greek Cypriot side was in any way rejecting talks. Papapetrou said Clerides did " not accept tricks"that did away with the UN peace process.

    The spokesman dismissed Cem's threats over EU accession: "Cyprus' accession is irreversible and this was made clear by the EU in December 1999, even if Cem pretends to have realised it just now."

    He added that by calling for common ground to be established before any resumption of talks, the Turkish Foreign Minister was on a "collision course with the UN Secretary-general, who has repeatedly said the effort to find common ground has been completed and called on the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides to move on to the next stage of the talks.

    "The refusal of the Turkish side to come to dialogue, no matter how much it tries to conceal it, is in fact a rejection of the good offices mission of the UN Secretary-general," Papapetrou said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [02] Death crash driver jailed for 15 months

    THE DRIVER of a mini-bus which crashed in the Troodos mountains last year killing eight people was yesterday jailed for 15 months for causing death by negligence.

    Eight Filipinos, including a two-year-old boy, were killed on January 30, 2000 when the bus driven by 42-year-old Costas Zipitis from Aradippou, smashed in a concrete barrier on a sharp bend of the road between Platres and Moniatis.

    The bus, which apparently had a clutch problem, veered off course and slammed into the wall of what is known as the 'death bend'.

    Yesterday, the Limassol court said Zipitis' behaviour in carrying so many people in a dangerous vehicle and not trying to find an alternative was a reckless act of the worst kind.

    He was sentenced to 15 months in jail for each of nine charges, involving causing death due to thoughtless and irresponsible behaviour.

    Zipitis will only have to serve 15 months because the terms run concurrently.

    The owner of the bus, George Kallis, has been cleared of any responsibility and was called to testify against Zipitis during the trial.

    Since 1983, 12 other people have died in accidents on the same bend in the steep mountain road, known locally as the 'death bend'.

    The minibus was taking a group of 36 mostly Filipino day-trippers, including seven children, back down to Larnaca after a day out in the snow.

    The small bus slammed into the six-foot high concrete crash barrier, then overturned before skidding some 200 metres down the road.

    Only three passengers escaped injury in the horrific smash, one of the worst on the island in recent years.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [03] Land scam suspects set to be charged this week

    By George Psyllides

    AT LEAST two suspects involved in the illegal transfer of land in the Tylliria area are expected to be charged this week, while more arrests should be expected, the Interior Minister said yesterday.

    Christodoulos Christodoulou said some of the cases concerning the land scam in Tylliria would be presented to court this week while others needed further investigation.

    Seven people, including the Mukhtars of Pigenia and Kato Pyrgos and two Land Survey Department officials, are currently in custody on suspicion of falsifying documents, receiving bribes and conspiring to transfer land illegally in order to make a profit from its sale, usually at a price higher than its estimated value.

    One of the suspects, real estate agent Demos Demosthenous, was released on Monday.

    The director of CID headquarters, Tassos Panayiotou, stressed that despite Demosthenous' release the investigation would continue.

    Panayiotou did not say whether Demosthenous might be used as a prosecution witness in the case.

    Interior Minister Christodoulou said he was being informed on the progress of the investigation and revealed that more arrests were expected, while he again stressed there would not be any cover up of the case.

    Attorney-general Alecos Markides said the police had already submitted one case file to him while two more were expected in the next couple of days.

    Markides said authorities had material justifying the arraignment of two of the detained suspects, something expected this week.

    Regarding the fate of the property, which had illegally been sold, Markides said it would be unacceptable for people to lose their property because of somebody else's fraud.

    " These are issues that are going to be examined after the investigation and possibly after the court procedures are completed,"he said.

    The scam emerged last month after AKEL deputy Aristofanis Georgiou told the House Refugee Committee about illegal Turkish Cypriot land transfers in the Tylliria area.

    It later turned out that the suspects had allegedly transferred Greek Cypriot land too.

    The scam was quite simple but apparently needed the involvement of several people who held vital posts in the administration.

    Usually someone related to the mukhtars or the land survey officials claimed a piece of land belonging to someone else, saying they had been using the land for 30 years. The mukhtar then allegedly issued a certificate and the case went to the land survey deparment, where the officials transferred the plot without questions.

    The land was then sold at prices higher than its estimate value and the suspects allegedly split the profits.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [04] Matsakis: Medical Association are trying to gag me

    By Alexia Saoulli

    PATHOLOGIST Marios Matsakis yesterday accused the Medical Association of trying to gag him by bringing allegations of unethical behaviour against him.

    The Pancyprian Medical Association accuses the outspoken DIKO deputy - a former state pathologist - of breaching the code of medical ethics, and has referred him to its Disciplinary Council.

    The Medical Association said in a statement yesterday it had accused Matsakis of unethical behaviour towards fellow doctors. Specifically, Matsakis - often called in as a second doctor on state autopsies - stands accused of violating the Rules of Professional Medical Ethics through his extremely public statements following autopsies as well as by accusing colleagues of negligence.

    The Medical Association added any case of medical negligence followed a legal procedure that took all the facts into account - such as post mortem results, witness testimonies and statements - before reaching a final conclusion.

    But Matsakis wanted to act as " coroner, public prosecutor and judge"by trying and convicting other doctors publicly without giving them the chance to defend themselves, the Association said.

    Matsakis had gone on the offensive on Monday night, saying on television he was being singled out by the Association for standing " in the line of fire"during anti-British demonstrations in the Akamas and Akrotiri.

    But the Medical Association yesterday rubbished his accusation.

    " As for Matsakis saying he is being accused for his behaviour in Akamas and the British Bases, there is no such charge,"the statement said.

    Matsakis had claimed the Association was invoking an article of its charter stating doctors must be an example of an honest and upstanding citizen in order to silence his anti-bases protests.

    The Medical Association stressed yesterday it had no intention to silence Matsakis in any way, but that it demanded that all doctors, including the deputy, respect their colleagues and the Rules of Medical Ethics.

    However, Matsakis claimed yesterday that, although he had never received an official indictment, he did have in his possession reports from investigating officers that stated quite clearly what he is being accused of.

    " I have been sent a list of accusations made against me by some people as well as a report made by an investigating officer, and these contain references to my behaviour and involvement in the anti-antenna demonstrations in Akrotiri, to the fact that I got into the British Bases firing range (in Akamas) and accusations concerning a law I proposed to the House that was supposedly displeasing to a particular doctor, " Matsakis told the Cyprus Mail .

    The deputy said the accusations against him were completely untrue, adding he would hold a news conference in the coming days making public all the documents on the accusations made against him.

    " I will ask the Pancyprian Medical Association to tell me clearly what exactly it is they are accusing me of - even though I maintain my behaviour at the British Bases is one such accusation since they sent me a report saying as much,"Matsakis said.

    Matsakis admitted that if he was found guilty of breaching the medical ethics code he faced being struck off the doctors' register. He said the whole procedure was part of a campaign to silence him, both in his medical and political life.

    Matsakis would not speculate on whether he would appeal any decision against him, possibly to the European Court of Human Rights, saying he had not yet been found guilty of anything.

    " They're basically just out to silence me"said Matsakis. " And they are being backed by politicians to do so, because they do not want me to have a political voice in Cyprus."

    The Medical Council intends to assess Matsakis' latest accusations against the Medical Association at its next meeting.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [05] Two killed on the roads

    TWO PEOPLE were killed in road accidents in the space of 10 minutes in the Larnaca district yesterday.

    The first accident occurred on the Ayia Anna - Kalo Chorio road at 9.15am, resulting in the death of a monk from the nearby Ayia Thekla Monastery.

    The 43-year-old, Chrysostomos Zimaras, was heading for Larnaca when he swerved into oncoming traffic and collided with Eleni Angelidou, a Larnaca resident on her way to Ayia Anna.

    Police said the impact totally destroyed Zimaras' car and that 44-year-old Angelidou was injured in the accident. She was taken to Larnaca General Hospital for observation where her condition is thought to be stable.

    The second accident took place on Stratigou Timayia Avenue in Larnaca at 9.25am.

    An 80-year-old man, Nicholas Savvas, was killed when he tried to cross the busy road and was knocked down by a minivan.

    Police said Savvas died instantly and his body was transferred to Larnaca hospital where a post mortem will be carried out.

    Larnaca police are investigating both accidents.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [06] Bomb wrecks car in Limassol

    A BOMB blast yesterday caused extensive damage to a car in Limassol, prompting the Justice Minister to blame the recent spate of bombings on personal differences and not organised crime.

    Police said the 2.10am explosion was caused by a pipe bomb placed near the car's windshield.

    The vehicle belongs to 19-year-old Ifigenia Orphanidou and was parked outside her home on Ayios Panteleimonas Street in Trahoni.

    The case being investigated by British bases police.

    Justice Minister Nicos Koshis conceded that bombings were on the rise, but put them down to personal differences and not organised crime.

    Koshis said it would be hard to find the culprits, but felt confident the law would be enforced and that it was only a matter of time until they cracked the cases.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001


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