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Clarifying some misconceptions with regard to the case of the deputy AG.

I would like to refer to the editorial published yesterday (February 7) in your esteemed newspaper under the title "Does Attorney-general show the impartiality he expects of others?" and I would be obliged if you could publish my comments as follows:

The gist of the article is that the Attorney-general, although he was right in saying that he should abstain from either appointing a commission of inquiry or a criminal investigation in the case of the President of the Supreme Court since the Attorney-general could be said to be personally involved in the matter, on the other hand, the Attorney-general did not display the same attitude in the case of the investigation involving the Deputy Attorney-general.

In this respect I would like to give the following clarifications:

What is said in the article, to the effect that the Attorney-general was personally involved in the matter concerning the Deputy AG, is not correct. The allegations made publicly in that instance, were that the deputy had been bribed by a named lawyer. That was the issue to be investigated and the deputy demanded that a criminal investigator be appointed by the Attorney-general.

The reason I did not instruct the police to investigate the matter was the fact that it would not be proper for the police investigators to investigate the deputy who was in charge of handling all the criminal cases in the Law Office whilst the investigators were in direct and everyday contact with him. It cannot be said that I had any personal involvement in the matter under investigation.

As you also say in the article, the deputy's allegations against the Attorney-general, "were investigated by staff at the Attorney-general's office -- subordinates of Mr Clerides who dismissed them." I am sorry to say that this is wholly untrue.

May I remind you that the deputy was giving statements to the police for three consecutive days and thereafter his allegations were being investigated by a team of police investigators for six full weeks. And at the end, they sent the file to the Law Office without any finding any offensive behavior, whereas the five attorneys proceeded to give the unavoidable instructions for the case to be filed with no further action.

And in any event may I remind you that later on, the deputy himself giving evidence on oath before the Council of the Supreme Court, specifically stated that all his allegations against the Attorney-general were untrue, he withdrew them and he expressed his apologies to the Attorney-general and his family.

Costas Clerides

Attorney-general of the Republic

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Publication:Cyprus Mail (Cyprus)
Date:Feb 8, 2019
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