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Cyprus Property Action Group silenced by libel threat

Following a writ moved by Armonia Estates and Pantelis Leptos, the Cyprus Property Action Group has decided to close down its existing website.

Cyprus Property Action Group website

Cyprus Property Action Group website

THE CYPRUS Property Action Group (CPAG) has decided to close down its existing website following a court order issued three weeks ago at the request of Leptos Estates.

The writ was moved on March 31 against Denis O’Hare, the CPAG representative who owns the current website, by Armonia Estates Ltd and Pantelis Leptos. The company is part of the Leptos Group and operates under the brand name Leptos Estates, while Pantelis Leptos is Vice-chairman of Leptos Group and Marketing Director of Leptos Estates. In the writ seen by the Sunday Mail, the plaintiffs claimed damages for libel in relation to a particular page on CPAG’s website entitled “Leptos Buyers Action Group Demonstration”.

A guarantee in the amount of €35,000 was lodged with the court in this respect.

The plaintiffs also asked the court to instruct O’Hare to cease publicising the content of the webpage in question and any similar content in any form. Finally, they asked the court to forbid “the respondent” (O’Hare) from repeating in any way the alleged slander contained in the webpage or any similar content.

In its ruling on March 31, the court ordered compliance with the second request.

On the third point, the court forbade “the respondent personally or his agents or representatives from publishing, printing, circulating or in any other way repeating or causing the publication, printing, circulation or in any other way repetition of the assertions which refer to the plaintiffs…and any other similar assertions (that are) libellous of the plaintiffs.” The endorsement of the court order by the judge states: “If you the respondent Denis O’Hare of Peyia and/or your agents or your representatives fail to obey this order immediately, then you are liable to arrest and your property to confiscation.

In a CPAG update sent out on April 23, the group said: “In this situation it is difficult to imagine how Denis can continue to run CPAG and it is likely that the web- site, which he currently owns and finances, will need to close down, and he and the current CPAG will of necessity cease to be able to assist buyers. This is due to the possibility that any entity in Cyprus could now use the same draconian measures to attack him and CPAG.

The update added that “some of us others who are involved with CPAG are absolutely incensed“, and so are “looking at setting up a new limited liability company registered outside Cyprus with the ability to raise funding for advertising, etc.

The new strategy envisaged will be far more strident than has been seen previously in supporting the property rights of the buyers who have suffered the pitfalls of buying in Cyprus.

The Mail understands that the peaceful gathering of the Leptos Buyers Action Group will go ahead as planned in Paphos on May 2.

Cyprus Property Action Group report - Cyprus Mail

Readers' comments

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  • from Austria says:

    ****** and consorts……..
    PRIMUS INTER PARES !!!

  • Angela Wright says:

    I saw some quisling English woman on Omega TV telling everyone that the Cyprus Property Action Group was backed by the north and it was a Turkish plot to damage the reputation of ******.

    Someone told me that Omega was owned by ******. I don’t know if that is true and she was forced to do it out of fear of loosing her job?

  • Siobhan says:

    There was a news item about this on Thursday on the TV. I had a good laugh.

    It claimed that the Turks are responsible. It is their way of damaging business in the south by telling lies and making people demonstrate against a well respected company.

    I don’t know how the newsreader, a British woman journalist, managed to keep a straight face.

    CPAG and Dennis O’Hare helped me solve the problem with my developer and I know other people who have been helped by CPAG.

    The crooked developers here are running around like headless chickens and trying to blame innocent third parties for problems they have created.

    I will be at the demonstration on Sunday 3:00 pm near the castle.

  • James JH Lockhart says:

    David is your AKA ****** Estates, As you seemed to have joined to-day as a new member Cyprus living forum and Did the Same message.

    But as all believe in Freedom of Speech apart from ****** Estates you are very welcome to post

  • David Damon says:

    As far as I know the various group leaders of Leptos properties have already arranged meetings with the Leptos management, as they do not agree with such demonstrations.

    The pressure for the issue of separate title deeds, must not be focused on the developers but we must concentrate our efforts on the authorities.

    This is the official position of the company on the issue:

    “We wish to refer to a recent article in the local press under the title ‘Property action group is gagged’.

    Our company’s policy was always to provide all the possible assistance to any clients and/or groups of people legally representing our clients.

    In such cases, with most of our clients, we have full and extensive cooperation for many years.

    However, it is our duty to take all appropriate actions in order to safeguard our company’s reputation.

    Furthermore it is our responsibility to protect the best interests of our clients against any action or publications by third parties who attempt to defame us.

    This was exactly the case in the recent action filed by our company in order to put an end to defamatory statements and publications made by certain people.

    We were forced eventually to take these legal measures which were also the demand by hundreds of our clients.

    They strongly felt their interests and the values of their properties were irreparably damaged by these defamatory publications.

    In those publications numerous of our company’s projects were described as problematic due to issue of separate title deeds for the properties therein. However these properties had separate title deeds actually long before those publications.

    Any third person reading those publications would be dissuaded from purchasing any of the properties described in this article. More than that, these publications harm directly all our customers who want to sell such properties.

    Furthermore, our company in its long 50 years history has never had even one incident of a refusal by the Authorities to issue separate title deeds for the properties sold nor have we ever refused to comply with our contractual obligations towards our clients.

    Also our company is timely following all the necessary procedures for the issues of separate title deeds for all the properties in all the projects we sell and furthermore as it can be confirmed by the relevant Authorities, we have never delayed these procedures due to any obligations of our companies to third parties.

    Leptos Estates

    David Damond

  • Pete says:

    It’s typical of companies like ****** and the rest to go squealing to their friends the judges when they want to stop the truth being told about them and the whole rotten way they have managed to twist things for their own greed.

    For too long these unscrupulous people, and that’s the developers, lawyers, banks and even the government have failed to comply with decent business practices. We’ve all been aware that the whole system is geared to one thing; greed. And that greed manifests itself by denying us the right to move our capital out of Cyprus. I’ve often heard people say ‘if you don’t like it, you’re free to leave’. Wrong. I can’t leave because my developer took out loans that have nothing to do with me but the bank want to repossess my house to pay for them. And this is supposed to be legal under Cypriot law!!!!!

    The whole thing stinks, and I wouldn’t be surprised if ****** were as guilty as everyone else when it comes to massive outstanding mortgages on peoples homes.

    Come on Cyprus, join the 21st century. Join the rest of Europe but do it now; not in 20 years.

  • Martin Law says:

    I am English and ‘bought’ a property from a unscrupulous developer in Cyprus – AND LOST ALL OF MY MONEY. That developer is now trading and selling property again.

    CPAG and Denis O’Hare in particular has been the only person to give any support in trying to get our money back. Shame on everyone involved in the Cyprus property industry!!!!

  • Pat says:

    We shall not fail or falter; we shall not weaken or tire…Give us the tools and we will finish the job.

    The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is.

    WINSTON CHURCHILL

    I hope this brings supporters of CPAG and Denis O`Hare out in their thousands on Sunday 2

  • David says:

    We were looking to retire to Cyprus this year and purchase a property. We live in the UK currently and have been coming to Cyprus for the last 25 years.We are aware of many of the problems/dangers of buying in Cyprus. However this action by Leptos (and the legal system’s unusually swift action… for Cyprus) has made us rethink.

    We love Cyprus and its people. BUT… something smells very bad at the moment with some of the major developers, The Government and others.

    As they said in the film Oliver. ” I think I’ll go and think it over again”!!

  • Charles Fryth says:

    @LBAG Member

    “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

    Edmund Burke
    Irish orator, philosopher, & politician (1729 – 1797)

    I will see you at the demonstration next Sunday

  • Sue says:

    What happened to free speech in this country !!

    Good luck with the new website.

  • LBAG Member says:

    It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

    Theodore Roosevelt

    Source: “Citizenship in a Republic,” Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910 The Works of Theodore Roosevelt, Vol XIII, pp. 506-529

    See you at the demonstration

  • bill says:

    Freedom of speech is another thing we are not allowed in Cyprus unless its lies saying how good and honest the building trade is.

  • Anon Cyprus East says:

    Well well, a Developer running scared, shooting oneself in the foot is what they have now done, I didn’t know about this particular demonstration, but reading this appalling action will make me and many others unaffected any more by Developers abuse of their clients to now attend. Denis O’Hare and the CPAG stands for justice in this country in the name of many expats and Cypriots who find themselves in terrible positions brought on them by Developers/Lawyers who care nothing at all, once they have sold. I myself had to ask ‘permission’ of my previous Developer to sell a property I owned in full! On top of that pay a large sum to cancel my previous contract, or no sale would have been ‘allowed’.

    Isn’t it amazing how the justice system in Cyprus can work in weeks for large companies in Cyprus? But when expats try and get their twice sold houses back, find their bought properties are mortgaged by Developers after they buy, some have lost property completely, life savings been lost to unscrupulous people etc it takes us eleven years to find justice!!!!

    Shame on them for this, why don,t they just meet with their complainants and put everything right. Much simpler and encouraging for future buyers, wouldn’t you think?

    This demo should/will grow to many more now, this has to be the very last straw. I hope the govt steps in and asks them to withdraw their summons very quickly, as I suspect they will.

    If buying in Cyprus was safe and pleasurable for all, there would have been no need at all for a pressure group in the first place. Its not safe and its certainly not pleasurable!

    When a group of people with great dignity and integrity approach a govt and ask for help in what has become a nightmare for thousands of expats on ALL of our behalf, is ignored, and then threatened with arrest, maybe we all need to second guess what is going on, even those of us who are not affected.

    Transparency is very much needed from the top, and never mind arresting people who are aiming to put things right for lots of others, arrest the people who knowingly caused all the problems in the first place! Then we can all feel that its safe to buy in Cyprus once more.

    This is so easy to be put right, give out the Deeds, don’t believe your countrymen are always right, protect the foreigner purchasers, all they did was fall in love with Cyprus and buy a house! take in the revenue, arrest the fraudsters, make new laws on purchasing property to make it safer for the buyer, fast track the justice system to hear the thousands of cases of pain and hardship, make the banks use collateral from the Developers themselves and their companies, not on already sold land belonging to others. Put a few in jail for corruption and violence. And do it soon.

  • AGA BUYERS says:

    well we wont bend – We will march on and try to put right what is wrong by the **** that try to scam anyone and everyone who shows a modicom of interest in Cyprus property !

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