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20 July, 2024
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Death of key witness alters course in high-profile T/C lawyer's case

Suspension of prosecution sparks controversy and reflection on the complexities of Cyprus' property issues

Newsroom / CNA

In a significant development, the death of the British key witness for the prosecution has led the Prosecutor General to suspend the prosecution of T/C lawyer Akan Kursat. Kursat faced charges of exploiting and selling Greek Cypriot properties in the occupied territories. T/C lawyer Kursat, and president of the T/C Bar Association, Hassan Esendagli, expressed their satisfaction, asserting that justice had been served.

After the court proceedings ended, Hassan Esendagli stated, "We believe that justice was done today for Akan Kursat, as we thought it was basically an unfair case."

The Prosecutor General's Office, unable to prove the case, decided to adjourn, bringing relief to Akan Kursat, who had felt like a hostage throughout the proceedings. Esendagli acknowledged the hardships Kursat and his family endured during the lawyer's detention in Italy but expressed happiness with the outcome.

Regarding a potential lawsuit over Kursat's detention in Italy, Esendagli mentioned not having discussed it with him and emphasized it would be a decision for Akan Kursat to make.

Asked about the decision in relation to the property issue, Esendagli pointed out the complexity of the Cyprus problem. He criticized the Republic of Cyprus for pursuing criminal prosecutions and issuing European arrest warrants, asserting it is not a solution and violates human rights. Esendagli emphasized the negative impact on trust between the two communities and expressed hope that such incidents wouldn't be repeated.

Responding to concerns about the impact on Greek Cypriot public opinion, Esendagli clarified that the decision does not undermine the property rights of Cypriots. He highlighted the existence of the "property committee" in the "north," accepted by the ECHR as an internal remedy, and emphasized its efficiency.

Esendagli underscored that the decision was not about violating the property rights of the Greek Cypriots but about the acquittal of a T/C lawyer from the charges, describing it as a fair decision.

Three T/C lawyers and a friend of Akan Kursat were present in court.

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