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Property rights campaigner to appear in court

Cyprus property rights campaigner Denis O’Hare has been summonsed to appear in the Paphos District Court following a writ moved against him by Armonia Estates Ltd, part of the Leptos Group, which earlier precipitated the closure of the Cyprus Property Action Group website.

Paphos District Court

Paphos District Court

DENIS O’HARE has been summonsed to appear in the Paphos District Court at 9:30 on Thursday 20th May following a writ moved against him by Armonia Estates Ltd and Pantelis Leptos, according to a source within the Cyprus Property Action Group (CPAG).

Armonia Estates Limited is part of the Leptos Group and operates under the brand name Leptos Estates; Pantelis Leptos is Vice-chairman of Leptos Group and Marketing Director of Leptos Estates.

The plaintiffs are claiming hundreds of thousands of Euros from Mr O’Hare who has vowed to defend any libel claims vigorously.

Speaking to the Overseas Property Professional magazine last week, Mr O’Hare said “I am absolutely shocked and dismayed at this action.

All I’ve tried to do is lobby the government, help buyers and fix the property problems in Cyprus for everyone’s benefit. This is a sad day for the Cyprus property industry.

A leading Cypriot lawyer commented that this appalling turn of events would create a nightmare situation for Cyprus developers and the government and that the good developers will suffer along with the bad.

In light of actions taken against Mr O’Hare, some believe that CPAG will be resurrected as a an entirely different organisation, with substantial funding and backing, a far more ‘strident’ strategy and a global reach in terms of communication and influence.

A statement issued by Leptos Estates in response to an earlier article on the ‘gagging order’ against Mr O’Hare said “…it is our duty to take all appropriate actions in order to safeguard our company’s reputation.”

Mr O’Hare was unavailable for comment on this latest turn of events.

Readers' comments

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  • Padraic says:

    Does anyone know which Advocate Denis O’Hare is using as I might be taking action against ****** due to failure to file the Contract of Sale.

    It seems almost 100% of the Advocates in Cyprus will not accept actions by clients who want to sue developers. All these Advocates want to do is conveyancing rather than fulfilling their professional duty and obligation to protect the legal interests of their clients.

    Just another example of the incestuous relationship between the developers, lawyers and the banks.

    The Cyprus Bar Association should be ashamed of itself !!!

    Any help anyone can give in getting an Advocate will be appreciated.

    Best of luck to Denis in his defence against the scurrilous and bullying behaviour of ******/ *******.

    Also, respects Micks’s comments I totally concur that if I’d known what I now know, I would not have paid for a property in Cyprus.

    As soon as I am able, I will get out of Cyprus and take my investments, pensions and other disposable income with me. Malta beckons !!!

    The real shame is that I really like the ordinary Cypriot people and the general lifestyle. I just cannot take the corruption and “Byzantine” (or Middle Eastern)attitude of the governing classes, the unions, and their anti-British behaviour. On top of that you have a segment of the Orthodox Church that is anti Catholic with most Catholic’s being expat from the UK/Eire and the EU.

    It seems that the Cypriot elite and politico’s (or is that politburo) in general do not seem to understand that to be European does not mean to be bigoted, xenophobic and to walk around with a giant chip on their shoulders.

    Maybe they should look at Malta and the Maltese as a better example of how to behave to and appreciate the financial/economic benefits from the ex-pat communities.

    Wha’ts that old saying : “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you” !!!!

  • Bill Nicosia says:

    It’s rubbish to claim that the land development in Cyprus is a matter of few, no matter how powerful they are, land developers. It is mainly an issue of political will and status. The state should be backing private business initiatives instead of putting obstacles in their way.

  • Madison says:

    I would agree with John S. Despite the whatsoever difficulties, the problem is much wider. It concerns more the official authorities and the delay to issue separate title deeds, and to a lesser extend the land development firms in Cyprus.

    The pressure should be put to the appropriate state authorities to do quickly their job. The fastest they issue a title deed, the better for the client and for the cypriot economy.

  • John S. says:

    One aspect of the problem, is that the land developer firm has its rights but also its share of responsibility. Sure, it has every right to protect its good reputation and the brand name of its firm. We shouldn’t surpass its huge investment on the island and its contribution on the land development of our country. But, it has overreacted. Everybody is entitled to have its opinion and express it. Now, the problem is to focus on a particular aspect of the problem and to lose the whole picture.

  • Graham says:

    I absolutely agree with you but it wasn’t always quite as bad.

    I bought an apartment in Limassol in 1992 and was WARNED by my honest solicitor not to buy anything new as there may be a mortgage on the land and I needed to have my title deeds. I didn’t really understand how this could be but took heed anyway and from buying that flat to selling four years ago I never had any trouble… no IPT scams and normal charges for utilities and common expenses. And then I came to Paphos to have a look around, bought there and then trouble began.

    I naturally thought that I would have a good experience…how wrong I was.I should have remembered the words of my former solicitor now retired.

    There is a mortgage on the land on which my complex stands and after five years no Title Deeds…how stupid was I? I went by my former experience and TRUSTED that all would be well.

    It wasn’t for the CPAG fighting for justice on our behalf I don’t know where we would all be. If and WHEN I get my deeds I and many like me are going to try to get out ASAP.

    Whose fault is that?

  • Mick says:

    My Concerns are for Denis and CPAG and the rest of us Property owners within Cyprus. I and a vast number of others fully support what CPAG stood for and will stand for again. This problem was highlighted by this group for the good of the Whole Property market and Cyprus its self. But as per usual the greedy arrogance of the Cypriot Developers has rail roaded action like this from Frightened lawyers who do the bidding of the not so law abiding. this will kill of what is left of the Cyprus property market. And the Government are sitting by and letting it happen. In an ideal world all the British should pull out and watch the island sink. Let the ******* have it. If I had known 9 years ago what I know now I for one would not have touched this place with a barge pole.

    Good on Ya Denis, you done us proud. Keep it up.

  • Graham says:

    Yes, silly you Robert…daring to utter unkind words about our friendly neighbourhood developer who was only trying to extract a few extra shillings to give to the Inland Revenue on our behalf!

    Will Mr Temple be on the steps of the court with his knitting as the tumbril loads of ****** Buyers are ferried to the guillotine to have their heads chopped off?

    We have contacted our new Minister for Europe in the hope that some fairness and sanity will prevail.

    Go to it Denis….the ROBIN HOOD of Paphos….Russel Crowe eat your heart out!

  • Robert in Pissouri says:

    How wonderful to hear from a good hearted (but very poor speller) soul like Mr. Temple. What a super advocate for Cypriot developers. Why have we, uncaring and callous ex-pats., got it so wrong for so long? And there was me thinking they were trying to screw me for IPT and transfer fees and deliberately delaying my title deeds – tut, tut. My apologies to one and all.

    PS Turn up in numbers on Thursday and show support for Denis!!

  • Denton Mackrell says:

    “How sure is Edward Temple that the unnamed developer has a ‘big bank balance’? Corporate size and longevity are not good predictors of bank balance. Does he know, for example, how big the company‘s mortgage debts are, level of liquidity, cash flow etc? Does this recent libel action, and hints from Mr Temple that it might be extended to individual buyers to fill the developer’s coffers, reveal something about the finances?

    Mr Temple appears to be arguing that ‘might is right’ and that therefore appeasement, deference and being quietly intimidated are the appropriate responses from dissatisfied buyers, the majority of whom are from the UK. It is just not in the character of Brits to buckle and kow-tow at the first sign of danger. Mr Temple should study British history if he is in any doubt as to what Brits are capable of when others try to bully them.

    What is really puzzling about this libel etc action is why a large property company would ever think it appropriate to be so aggressive against property buyers. Mr Temple is suggesting that this legal action will be extended to encompass individual buyers who dare to voice their complaints. A developer wishing to stay in business surely needs new buyers and the reality is that for the foreseeable future Cyprus developers will need to continue to depend on the UK as their main source of new foreign buyers. Is anyone likely to buy from a company that threatens them with law suits if ever they should complain about anything? What a brilliant advertisement to attract new buyers!!”

  • Jon Frazer says:

    My apologies to Mr. Temple over calling him Mr Turner in my response.

  • Jon Frazer says:

    With reference to Edward Turner’s remarks, I must point out that Denis O Hare has not as yet been found guilty ; Mr. Turner’s opening paragraphs assume that is the case. I would also point out that Mr. Turner has mis-spelt the word “Libel” (as “Liable”) twice in his diatribe. This makes the piece seem amateurish, and cannot possibly assist the cause of ****** and their supporters. My wife and I send Denis and his wife our highest esteem and regard, and wish them justice.

  • James JH Lockhart says:

    Edward,

    I am Sorry reading your comment, You have every right to, But to be very honest I would prefer Denis O Hare In a trench backing me up then You.

    And I print my name and I fight By letters naming people / Companies that have Wronged me.

    I think the phrase has been used a lot lately, but

    Evil triumphs When Good men remain Quiet

    Denis Is a good Man

  • Edward Temple says:

    Unfortunately Denis will lose and he knows that and in retrospect he deserves to. We whinge and moan that nothing happens and the law is too slow but breaking the law however well meant is never going to work. You cannot liable a company the size of ****** and not expect a reaction from a firm with a big bank balance.

    What was he thinking going up against ****** without legal representation? Many comments hear in support as there were on Cyprus living but then everyone hides in the shadows when it gets a bit rough.

    How many more will want to risk losing a property by openly slandering a firm that has recently won damages against an expat causing him to lose his house. That is why ****** are exactly right in what they are doing and they know it.

    Denis and Elizabeth thought that their personal vendetta against ****** over building work around their house could be tackled by numbers but it was fool hardy from the start. Well at least Denis will get his wish in getting rid of the house if ****** are awarded damages and costs.

    it is not simply the developers losing from this it is all the associated industries and those non associated such as car hire and restaurants. All this bad publicity by the websites harms completely innocent businesses and is a matter for the courts which is where ****** has taken it. This is perhaps why the court has chosen to hear it so quickly, to protect the interests of others on the island that are not associated. If they are in the wrong then they are at least prepared to do it correctly in the courts.

    What everybody should be worried about is if the judge asks Denis for a list of the details of all members and a copy of the comments made by each member of the site. Perhaps a few more cases of Liable will arrive from that information. It is the person who made the comments and the person that published them who are jointly responsible. Perhaps ****** are planning to solve the problem of liable action by simply getting back all the properties via damages!

  • Jacs says:

    Why is it forbidden to comment on the corruption at the heart of Cypriot law and government?

    Previous comments ask about the speed at which this case has been brought before the courts. Does Cyprus not realise that it is actually strangling the goose which laid the golden egg from which it is currently prospering?????

    Tourism and property development are among the only tools keeping Cyprus solvent. When will it learn. This situation will grow and grow, the government will not keep a cap on it for ever.

    Denis O’Hare, along with Conor O’Dwyer, is a sacrificial lamb. They will return to haunt Cyprus as its tourism and economic stability dwindles.

    Jacs

  • Takis Demetriou says:

    In my opinion the statement that the court ordered Mr. O’Hare to shut down his website is not true…

    The order is just to suspend a specific publication for libel case.

    The presentation of Mr. O’Hare that his website is shut down i.e. a “heroic voice was silenced” shows his real intentions.
    i.e. to damage the Real Estates sector and the Cyprus Economy.

    I have notice that similar views were reproduced at the same time by websites in Northern Cyprus…

    Takis Demetriou

  • Steve says:

    One aspect of this story that cannot be allowed to pass without remark is the incredibly short time that has elapsed between the commencement of legal action and the issue of the court date to hear the case against Denis O’Hare. Aggrieved purchasers taking legal action against developers in Cyprus can expect to wait years rather than months for a date in court and then there are the repeated adjournments to take into account. For example, Conor O’Dwyer is already into years of waiting for justice and it is to be remembered that justice delayed is justice denied.

    One conclusion that may be drawn is that justice in Cyprus is for native Cypriots and not for UK expatriates, who are labouring under the impression that Cyprus is somehow going to treat them fairly. How can that be when so many have been tricked into parting with their money in flawed property deals?

    Denis O’Hare will be missed; he got off his backside and did something more than whingeing that someone else should do something. Now there is an even greater incentive for any prospective buyer to contact the UK born building surveyors and other experts working in Cyprus and ask them which builders are good and who to avoid.

  • Jan C says:

    Denis O’Hare is one of the finest and most selfless men I have ever met and deserves support from every quarter.

    CPAG will rise again like a phoenix.

  • Curmudgeon says:

    Quote from article: ‘A leading Cypriot lawyer commented that this appalling turn of events would create a nightmare situation for Cyprus developers and the government and that the good developers will suffer along with the bad’.

    Are there any good developers out there that provide the quality, good value and excellent service? If so, name them.

    A list (albeit short) of good developers wouldn’t go amiss.

  • frances w says:

    Well done Denis, seems that you have finally stirred up the hornets nest, but I don’t think it will be you who will be stung. Cyprus property developers collectively will be licking their wounds in the very near future, I hope.

  • H says:

    What a damning indictment of the attitude of property developers & ****** Group in particular, in Cyprus. Don’t even attempt to try & put right the wrongs done to property buyers, just silence anyone who dares to say in public what they believe those wrongs are.

  • Andrew says:

    Hey look what happened last time Goliath came face to face with David!

    If justice does prevail then we should expect to see Denis O`Hare and CPAG completely exonerated. In fact he should be appointed to a new salaried Cyprus government position. After all he is the only person with the courage and commitment to try and sort this sorry affair out.

    Long live freedom of speech!.

  • James JH Lockhart says:

    CYPRUS PROPERTY MARKET

    R I P

    1960-2010

  • paul paralimni says:

    this time next year someone pretty high up is going to say, whos stupid idea was it carrying out that summons.
    never mind r.i.p ****** more like r.i.p cyprus property industry.
    egg..kill..goose..golden..lay..???

    paul.

  • Sue says:

    I’ve never heard anything good about ******, their reputation was already in the ditch.

  • baileyboy says:

    If everybody who has bought property in Cyprus had been given a fair deal there would have been no need for CPAG in the first place. Cyprus cannot afford the bad publicity in taking Denis to court especially in today’s economic climate and the adverse publicity that already exists about the island.

    Denis does not deserve to carry the can for the way that Cyprus is perceived at home and abroad.

  • Stuart M says:

    Leptos ~~~ Rest In Peace…

  • Ypso says:

    This is wonderful ….. now Armonia Estates Limited and the Leptos Group will gather much greater British & International resentment and they will lose future business ….. they are acting in a typical narrow-minded Cypriot fashion …. they do not yet realise … but they will soon enough.

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