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Former president vows to take legal action against paper.

Former President Demetris Christofias said on Friday he would take legal action against daily newspaper Alithia, which reported that he owes the state AaAaAeA@1/448,00

Christofias, who accused the daily of carrying out a campaign to tarnish his character and name and humiliate him, said in a statement that he was being 'falsely and inexplicably' accused of being allegedly in debt to the state.

The daily on Friday published Christofias' photograph on its front page with a question in block letters: "Which former president owes the state AaAaAeA@1/448,087

The article said that according to a 2016 report from Auditor-General Odysseas Michaelides on the foreign ministry, released this week, a former president received AaAaAeA@1/448,087 in advance for a trip abroad witho ever returning it.

The daily drew the conclusion that, as one of the two living former presidents -- George Vassiliou -- who was in office between 1988 and 1993, denied any involvement in the case, the issue 'clearly concerns Mr Christofias'.

Christofias was in office between 2008 and 2013.

According to the report, a former president received in 2000 -- outside his term of office in the presidential post -- AaAaAeA@1/448,087 in advan for accommodation during a trip to London. The report also refers to AaAaAeA@1/46,738 paid between 1995 and 2003 to a former head of a parliamenta party for accommodation abroad.

When officials travel abroad for state business they receive a daily allowance for accommodation and meals for which they have to submit receipts upon their return to justify the expenses. It emerged in these two cases that the two officials received those amounts which, for some reason, appear to have remained outstanding to-date in the foreign ministry's advance accounts. The audit office called on the ministry to take all necessary measures to ensure the collection of these arrears.

Alithia said that Michaelides, when asked, refrained from naming these individuals.

"Even though we were not able to contact former president Demetris Christofias, from the response of Mr Vasiliou, it is clear that the issue concerns Mr Christofias," the daily said.

"I have nothing else to say other than I will take all due legal measures to protect the honour and dignity of my name and of the political space I come from," Christofias said in the statement.

The post Former president vows to take legal action against paper appeared first on Cyprus Mail .

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Publication:Cyprus Mail (Cyprus)
Date:Dec 29, 2017
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