Former Finance Minister Harris Georgiades told the independent investigative committee probing the citizenships by exception granted via the Republic’s nixed ‘golden passports’ program that “as a member of the Council of Ministers, I have a portion of the blame”.
The first session of Tuesday’s probe hearings involving Georgiades was opened to reporters, who will from now on be allowed to attend to ongoing probe hearings into alleged corruption in connection with Cyprus’ disgraced Citizenship by Investment Programme. President Anastasiades and the Archbishop are also set to testify before the panel.
Georgiades told the committee that when shortcomings regarding the programme became evident, President Anastasiades was informed. The former Finance Minister said he had also told the former Interior Minister – and current Finance Minister - Constantinos Petrides that he would offer any assistance needed in fixing any auditing weaknesses that come up.
Georgiades’ testimony revolved around the programme’s legal framework, the legislative changes made, and whether foreign officials ever conveyed to him any reservations regarding the programme, with Georgiades stating that concerns had been to expressed to him three times.