AN EXTRAORDINARY session of the Paphos Municipal Council, convened to discuss a controversial land demarcation permit issued to Aristo Developers, decided to uphold the decision pending completion of a police investigation on the matter, the CyBC reported on Friday.
The session was attended by Aristo boss, Theodoros Aristodimou, who reportedly unleashed a verbal attack on council members and those who “tried to tarnish the name of his company.”
Aristodimou, who also served a stint as chairman of the Bank of Cyprus, denied allegations of fraudulently altering plot dimensions and switching plans in the case file in order to enlarge the demarcation area.
Speaking at the Paphos Municipal House after the session, Aristodimou said he favours the full investigation of the matter by both the police and the Attorney-general’s office.
“The truth must shine, and efforts by some to emotionally murder me, my family and the employees at my company shall fail,” he said.
Aristodimou called on all council members that approved the demarcation to commit to personally bearing the cost of any damages payable to his company by the municipality in case he is acquitted, and pledged to pay double the fine if Aristo is found guilty.
He claimed the council members based their decision on erroneous data, appealing to the police for a full investigation.
During the session, the room was packed with Aristo employees and concerned citizens.
Earlier in the week, daily Politis had reported that Aristodimou, his wife Sotiroulla, and former municipal engineer Savvas Savva, were named as suspects in a police report submitted to the state legal services.
The case was reported to police on July 1 and concerned an application filed by Aristo Developers, Aristodimou’s company, for a permit to demarcate 177 plots in the Skali area.
The application was approved, but according to the complaint filed to police, it later emerged that new plans were added in the file and the previous ones had been annulled.
With the new plans, the company basically took back some 5,000 square metres, which had been previously earmarked as green spaces in accordance with the rules and regulations.
The value of the land was estimated at €2.0 million, Politis said.
The company denied the accusations, saying the municipality got the calculations wrong. It claimed that the municipality had asked for new plans to be submitted and the discrepancy came about because the land area was bigger than what was recorded on the title deeds.
The changes in the demarcation of green areas were made at the behest of the water department to protect a stream.