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20 July, 2024
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Attorney General continues testimony in Auditor General suspension hearing

Savvidis highlights resource drain from constant criticisms, with next hearing set for June 27


The biggest challenge facing the Legal Service is the continuous attacks from the Audit Service and its allies, Attorney General George Savvidis testified on Friday. Savvidis appeared before the Supreme Constitutional Council on the last day of his witness testimony in the case to suspend the Auditor General for alleged misconduct.

Savvidis, responding to a report from the Auditor General’s legal advisor Christos Clerides, emphasized that the Legal Service has been monitoring publications about the Auditor General's office since the outset. He argued that the primary issue is the barrage of attacks from the Audit Office and its supporters, including journalists, politicians, advocacy groups, and social media users. These attacks, he said, consume a significant amount of the Service's time and resources.

Clerides suggested that Savvidis saw the Auditor General as a nuisance from the beginning, accusing him of finding a "scapegoat" in the Auditor General, whom he labeled as the "czar" of auditing. The Attorney General admitted to making an institutional decision based on public interest but denied allowing criticism to affect him, despite the creation of false impressions being bothersome.

The cross-examination revealed a history of public confrontations and disagreements, with Savvidis maintaining that his actions were in line with his constitutional duties. He criticized the Auditor General for interfering with the Legal Department’s work and for making public statements that allegedly undermined the presumption of innocence.

The session concluded with plans for the next hearing, set for June 27, when a representative from INTOSAI will testify. The proceedings will resume on July 1, with the Auditor General expected to take the stand.


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