Interesting new details on the involvement of law firms in the island’s disgraced citizenship-by-investment programme were presented before the Investigative Committee by the head of the Cyprus Bar Association, Christos Clerides.
From his two-hour testimony at his probe hearing, what stood out was his reference to an audit being conducted by a special unit on 15 law firms, that began after the revelations that emerged through Al Jazeera reports last year. Clerides said the audit is moving along quickly and is expected to be completed soon.
Clerides said the Association had conducted 600 checks between 2013 and 2019, though none were directly related to the investment programme. Among the offices checked was the one bearing the name of the President of the Republic.
The audits resulted in the detection of violations by eight firms, mainly relating to the purchase and sale of real estate, resulting in the imposition of administrative fines. Committee member Demetra Kalogerou said a number of those eight firms are included in reports that show they continued to violate legislation.
Clerides also provided the Committee with details on the total of some 200 firms who dealt with investors looking to secure citizenship through the programme.