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Aristo boss seeks to counter accusations

Theodoros Aristodimou, the founder and managing director of Aristo Developers and former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bank of Cyprus, is seeking to counter accusations against his company.

BOSS of Aristo Developers Theodoros Aristodimou on Tuesday sought to counter accusations against his company, saying that after two months of rumours and investigations no one has asked the company for its views.

“No official state organ, neither the Attorney General’s office, nor the police have asked Aristo to offer its positions,” he said. “This fact upsets us greatly, and we can only hope that those who have been asked to provide evidence have been careful to provide accurate information.”

His statements came as Deputy Attorney General Rikkos Erotokritou warned the Paphos municipal council that issuing zoning and construction permits to Aristo in the Skali area of Paphos before the AG’s probe into a dubious sequence of events thus far has been completed would constitute de facto intervention in the investigators’ work and could entail criminal culpability.

According to local daily Politis, Erotokritou dispatched the letter as the municipal council’s previous decision in late July had deferred a decision until the end of August, presuming that investigations would have been completed by this time.

Back in July, mayor Savvas Vergas had tabled the developer’s file before the council, proposing the approval of zoning and building permits for a total of 177 plots for which Aristo had secured a demarcation permit.

But it later emerged that the plans for which the demarcation permits were issued were switched with new plans, which seemed to cede approximately 5,000m² previously designated as green space, back to Aristo.

Erotokritou argued that any decision with regard to Aristo’s application for the issuance of zoning and building permits would constitute an attempt to effectively legalise any wrongdoing established by the ongoing probe.

In turn, such an attempt could possibly incur criminal culpability by the municipality, or any party involved in such an attempt.

At a press conference on Tuesday Aristodimou implied that the incident has been staged by interests competitive to his company’s, since the issue regarding the demarcation of these particular plots surfaced in 2014, while the permits were issued in 2010.

“The issue arose once some realised that the demarcation was almost complete and development begun,” he said. “That is up to each of us to evaluate logically.”

He asserted that inadequately informed municipal officials carried out incorrect calculations and measurements for the constructible areas of his plots, green spaces, roads and parking spaces, resulting in the entire controversy.

The real gap between the municipality’s and Aristo’s calculations, Aristodimou said, does not exceed 900m², and his company could not benefit from it under any circumstances since the Land Registry routinely spots such mistakes and amends developments accordingly prior to issuing title deeds.

Asked whether the Attorney General’s office is likely to be led to erroneous conclusions, Aristodimou said he would be able to form an opinion if he had access to the evidence gathered by the Attorney General’s office – which he does not.

“However, I trust the justice system immensely,” he said.

Readers' comments

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  • Steve says:

    I know from personal experience that this is certainly not the first time that Aristo Developers have sailed more than close to the wind on town planning issues. The difference this time is that Town Planning are not backing down the way they have regarding previous issues. I would like to see a public enquiry into Aristo’s calculations of the steel content and concrete thickness of their retaining walls. In Europe and the US their walls would be condemned.

  • Mike says:

    “However, I trust the justice system immensely,” he said…..This gentleman must be the only person on this Island that I have come across who does. I don’t suppose that he has friends in high places who would protect his and Aristo’s actions, ethics, morals and modus operandi – surely not!

    The concept of “conflict of interests” seems to be an issue we have no comprehension of.

  • Costas Apacket says:

    “However, I trust the justice system immensely,” he said.

    I bet you do!

  • demetri says:

    Lets wait and see if the team responsible for dealing with economic crime dig anything up? Hang on the police have been put in charge of this, so there’s slim chance they have so called forensic auditors employed who would be able to decipher the complex money trails etc that would lead to the perpetrators…. in the case of poor Aristos…well I am pretty sure all data to do with his no ties 230mill loan has been deleted off all servers n backups in error..still shouldn’t prevent authorities from asking the simple question and asking for the loan agreement that should contain reference to security used to get the loan….I think these guys are untouchable….only when the everyday person on the street is left homeless will we see people like Aristo, Christofias, and today troikas pawns be shown justice the hard way

  • Denton Mackrell says:

    Ah, poor innocent lamb! How could they be so cruel as to hound someone who not so long ago unexpectedly retired as BoC chairman on ill-health grounds? He who had steered the BoC ship through choppy waters and ensured absolutely that it was a million miles from bankruptcy. The 230-odd million Euros loan (present?) from BoC he allegedly granted himself while chairman without the normal checks and approvals is surely a trifling matter. The Venus Rock fiasco is also but a passing mystery.

    Surely we should let such a paragon of financial rectitude live out his days in his Aphrodite Hills mansion (a mere 100+ million Euros, an estate agent tells me) in peace and free from the carping jealousies of mere mortals such as police officers, state prosecutors and the general public! And how dare banks such as BoC demand that he repays his loans and debts and the Inland Revenue demand that he pays his tax arrears! A national treasure such as he surely deserves all his debts and unpaid taxes to be wiped clean.

    Come on guys, give the man a break!

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