President Nicos Anastasiades said Friday he will be announcing new measures aiming to crack down on corruption next week.
Commenting on the waves of reaction that followed the recent Cyprus Papers scandal, Anastasiades said “I would be living in another world if I said that the public’s anger is not justified. On the contrary. Self-criticism should also bring admission that mistakes were made. Mistakes, which in this case, do not implicate the government alone but saw the participation of all regardless of party colour.”
“What I want to assure the Cypriot people about, precisely because I recognize their feelings of indignation, is that we’re not going to go soft on anyone, regardless of where they stand ideologically,” Anastasiades said, adding that a report published recently after an independent probe into the island’s ‘golden passports’ scheme “has already indicated some gaps.”
Another four-member committee currently probing the entire breadth of the citizenship-by-investment program is also expected to produce a report, the President said, adding that investigations also being carried out by police will not be showing any lenience.
“Most importantly, however, next week, I will be announcing a series of measures, which involve bills already submitted before Parliament but also other measures, which will work to correct our tarnished image,” Anastasiades said.
Police explain time lag in searching homes of those implicated in Al Jazeera video
On Thursday, police announced that they searched the homes and offices of the people embroiled in the Al Jazeera video on the Cyprus Papers that caused ongoing political turmoil on the island.
The Cyprus News Agency reported that after securing search warrants, police on Thursday searched the homes and offices of the former House President Demetris Syllouris, the former AKEL MP Christakis Giovanis, and prominent lawyer Andreas Pittadjis, and collected evidence that will undergo scientific examination.
On Friday, police spokesperson Christos Andreou explained that the time lag was due to the fact that police had to first secure evidence that would justify their request for a search warrant before a court.
“Evidence had to be secured that clarify which offences will be investigated by the police. We then had to discuss with the Legal Service before securing the search warrants, which were executed the following day,” Andreou said.
He noted the police searched the homes of five people, collecting laptops and documents which will undergo examination.