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25 June, 2024
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Judge in Cypriot passport probe resigns

Kalogerou joins another passport committee as retired Supreme Court Judge steps down


Retired Supreme Court Judge Costas Pampallis has resigned from his position as a member of an independent investigative committee, a team that was tasked to sift through Cyprus’ golden passport scheme in the wake of corruption scandals and systemic failures.

Pampallis, who was assigned by Attorney General George Savvides to serve on the committee last month, tendered his resignation in a letter dated October 13 citing personal reasons.

No other information was given about the resignation, which came a day after Al Jazeera news network published an earth-shuttering report on Cyprus’ golden passport scheme.

The resignation also came on the same day MP Christakis Giovanis, a land developer in Famagusta, resigned from his office as well as positions he held within the AKEL party. 

The resignation came on the same day MP Christakis Giovanis, a land developer in Famagusta, resigned a day after he was seen in a secret Al Jazeera video

In an AJ video published on Monday, high ranking politicians, including Giovanis and House Speaker Demetris Syllouris, were caught on tape appearing to offer support to a fictitious foreign investor from China with a criminal background.

Pamballis, who was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2008 by the late president Demetris Christofias, will be replaced by Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission Chairwoman Demetra Kalogerou, according to the Cyprus News Agency.

Kalogerou was recently appointed to lead an investigation into a number of handpicked cases involving foreign investment passports, which concluded that seven persons ought to be recommended for passport revocation while twelve others would be further scrutinized.

The Attorney General gave instructions to a new committee last month to look into all passports granted through the Cyprus Investment Program from 2007 through 17 August 2020.

Savvides, who previously served as justice minister before becoming the nation’s chief legal advisor, will administer the oath for Kalogerou after a Decree is published in the Official Gazette.

Kalogerou will join former Supreme Court President Myron Nicolatos, deputy Auditor General Kyriakos Kyriakou, and Financial Commissioner Pavlos Ioannou.

Cyprus  |  passport  |  investment  |  probe  |  committee  |  Kalogerou  |  Pamballis  |  Al Jazeera  |  corruption

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