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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 02-09-22

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Sunday, September 22, 2002


  • [01] Customs examine 'car scam' documents
  • [02] If only it could be like this every day...
  • [03] Ignore the Turkish threats, says Cassoulides
  • [04] Visas reintroduced for Russians

  • [01] Customs examine 'car scam' documents

    By Alexia Saoulli

    CUSTOMS officials spent Friday night sifting through evidence gathered from the house of a suspect allegedly involved in a car assembly scam.

    The documents were seized during a police and customs officials operation on Thursday night to search the house of Yiannos Giorgallides, manager of a car importer.

    Not all documents were recovered from the house, as police said Giorgallides and another suspect, Marios Tenizis, were caught in the act of burning a great number of them thought to be associated with the case, which allegedly involves importing luxury cars as spare parts and assembling them in Cyprus to prevent paying duty.

    But according to deputy Attorney-general Petros Clerides, evaluating the remaining documents that have been recovered will more than likely shed light on what kind of evidence had been destroyed and draw attention to other people involved in the scam.

    Clerides reiterated yesterday that it was unfair and unjust to blame customs officials for Thursday's botched investigation, and added if anyone was to be held responsible it should be the police who merely stood outside the suspect's residence and watched evidence being destroyed after a warrant mix-up prevented them from being given the go-ahead to enter the house.

    Clerides expressed surprise that, despite his explicit instructions, the police did not enter the house when smoke was seen appearing from its chimney, and questioned why they had been slow to respond. But, he said, an investigation into the fiasco would be unnecessary since the facts spoke for themselves.

    Criminal Investigations Division (CID) police officers finally entered the house and arrested two men for alleged obstruction of justice, but they were unable to retrieve much of the paperwork.

    A detailed report on Police Chief Andreas Angelides and his family's three luxury cars is also being prepared to give to President Glafcos Clerides tomorrow morning, Clerides said. Reports that Angelides was allegedly implicated in the affair appeared in Politis newspaper.

    The New Horizons party yesterday called on President Clerides to appoint an independent investigator to head the enquiry, saying police officials could not be expected to maintain objectivity or independence for obvious reasons. It claimed justice would not be carried out and said that responsibility partly lay with the government for not punishing the guilty.

    DIKO leader Tassos Papadopoulos said alleged police involvement in scams could be avoided if an independent body with access to police files was created and made responsible for examining internal police affairs. Such a body could then report directly to the President and Justice Minister, he said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [02] If only it could be like this every day...

    By Alexia Saoulli

    CENTRAL Nicosia was closed to traffic yesterday, ending the municipality's week-long 'Going To Town Without A Car' sound pollution awareness scheme.

    Between 9am and 2.30pm motorists were forbidden access to Archbishop Makarios III Avenue and seven separate roads leading into the town centre's main pipeline.

    These included Theofanis Theodotou Street, Arnaldas Street, Mnasiadou Street, Stassandrou Avenue, Aphrodite Street, Ayia Eleni Street and Gregoris Xenopoulou Street. During this five and a half-hour period urban bus transport was free.

    Communication and Works Minister Averoff Neophytou said he for one thoroughly enjoyed yesterday's 'close-down' -- and wished it could be repeated.

    “I thoroughly enjoyed the peace and quiet and only wish it was like that every day,” he told the Sunday Mail, admitting that this was never likely to be the case, since closing down Makarios Avenue once a month would never materialise, let alone every day.

    But Green party deputy George Perdikis said that for people who enjoyed it so much, the Communications and Works Ministry had done nothing in all these years to reduce traffic congestion and noise pollution.

    “There is not enough public transport,” he said. “If there were more buses, for instance, it would be much more effective, cleaner and quicker for people to move about and not have to use their cars.”

    Perdikis added that noise levels yesterday had dropped around 40 decibels.

    “When noise pollution levels were measured yesterday we found they were between 35-40 decibels, which is normal for an area without cars. During the previous week, around the same time and in the same area, noise levels averaged 75 decibels. This is not only annoying to have to put up with, but it is also bad for you. According to experts it sounds six times louder to your ears,” he said.

    The town centre resembled a ghost town in the morning.

    “It was great. I could literally hear myself think,” Maria Christofides said. “I was able to cross the street freely without fearing I was going to get run over, and for once I was able to enjoy window shopping without the interminable sound of horns honking in the background.”

    But others were not so pleased: “I'd forgotten that the roads would be closed off this morning and found I had to take a detour to get to work, which was a real pain since I was running late,” said Andreas Kyriakou.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [03] Ignore the Turkish threats, says Cassoulides

    By Jean Christou

    FOREIGN Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides yesterday cautioned against reacting to the latest threats by Turkey if the island joins the European Union without a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) after addressing the UN General Assembly in New York, Cassoulides said the Greek Cypriot side must react reservedly to the threats.

    “The things we have to gain by waiting for the significant decisions that will be taken in December (at the EU Copenhagen Summit) are very serious and we cannot put them at risk for any temporary emotional satisfaction,” he said.

    The latest Turkish threat over the island's accession came on Thursday from Turkish Ground Forces Commander General Aytac Yalman, who was on a visit to the occupied north. Yalman said Turkey would not accept any solution that was not based on the equal sovereignty of the Turkish Cypriot people, and that it would not approve the unilateral accession of 'south Cyprus' to the EU. He said he was visiting the north to conduct “an on-the-spot inspection of the troops' readiness for war”.

    Cassoulides said Ankara's threat to annex the north was its trump card to try to block EU accession.

    He said he believed it would not be successful because Europe was in a position to know whether Ankara was bluffing or not.

    Commenting on the ongoing Cyprus talks, he said proposals put forward by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash at the meetings did not leave any room for optimism.Denktash has been meeting regularly with President Glafcos Clerides since mid-January, and both leaders are due to travel to New York next month for discussions with UN Secretary-general Kofi Annan on October 3 and 4.

    In his address to the General Assembly, Cassoulides called on Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side "to heed the call of the international community and abandon its unacceptable policy of division and communal segregation".

    "Their position for a two sovereign states solution and the denial of the rights of refugees to their properties are an anachronism in a globalised world, and such a policy cannot lead to a settlement or reconciliation, thus perpetuating the suffering and the plight of all Cypriots,” Cassoulides said.

    Referring to the island's EU aspirations, he said: "We see the future of our country as a reunited federal State, a member of the EU" and observed that "the overwhelming majority of Turkish Cypriots share this vision and long for reunification and a common future in the European Union".

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [04] Visas reintroduced for Russians

    CYPRUS is to reintroduce visas for Russian citizens from the beginning of 2003, reports from Moscow said yesterday. The bilateral agreement between Cyprus and Russia signed in 1995 on visa-free travel will no longer be effective because of the island's forthcoming accession to the European Union. Cypriot authorities have said they will do everything possible to ensure that Russian tourists obtain visas as soon as possible. Visas will cost no more than $10-$20, the Cyprus embassy in Moscow said in an announcement.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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