A political party in the Republic of Cyprus is at the centre of a new investigation into possible obstruction of justice, after it emerged that important evidence into an ongoing probe had been destroyed.
According to local media, the political director at Edek socialist party’s headquarters admitted to police that internal evidence, used in procedures and allegations against former member and current MEP Demetris Papadakis, had been destroyed.
The evidence in question, purportedly including secretly-recorded video footage and other information, was submitted to a disciplinary committee within the party against Papadakis.
Papadakis, who was elected MEP in 2014 on an Edek ticket, was ousted from the party back in February, amid allegations and counter-allegations of financial wrongdoing and secret surveillance. Reports said a full-blown ruckus had been shaking the party after the MEP was accused of breaking a promise to kick back 10% of his Brussels salary.
Edek chairman Marinos Sizopoulos, who demanded that Papadakis give up his seat, then accused the MEP of illegal activity in trying to secure EU subsidies to fund a private business venture.
Papadakis accused Sizopoulos of fabricating evidence and using an illegal organization to put the MEP under secret surveillance
Papadakis fought back accusing Sizopoulos of forcing candidates to sign illegal documents. The MEP also accused the chairman of putting him under surveillance in violation of his privacy as well as fabricating evidence.
The counter-accusations against the chairman came following a secret leaked video that showed a woman, who was an associate of Papadakis, allegedly trying to sell services to visitors who later turned out to be Sizopoulos sympathizers.
While law enforcement had mounted a full blown investigation into the matter, it emerged recently that the evidence purportedly used against Papadakis had been destroyed.
Police investigators had been seeking the additional evidence after the MEP wrote a letter to the attorney general, calling for an investigation against Sizopoulos and alleging the party chairman had been running an illegal secret organisation.
Papadakis’ lawyer also publicly warned Sizopoulos that he would need to back up his accusations, adding that Cyprus police had a duty to investigate the claims against his client and report any findings to the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF).
The attorney alleged that Sizopoulos was afraid to go to the police but chose a disciplinary committee to weaken Papadakis' stance within the party.
Papadakis also accused Sizopoulos of running a one-man-show in Edek, saying there were personal agendas and lack of democracy within the socialist party.
"They operate like a gang" Papadakis said.
Unconfirmed reports in the media, attibuted to a Papadakis associate, said one of the invividuals in the secret video taping was a police officer linked to Sizopoulos.
Sizopoulos had said publicly he would cooperate with police and submit all evidence pertaining to the case.
Civil court cases on the matter are still pending since February.