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Aristo ruling expected today (Update)

The Paphos District Court is expected to rule today whether Theodoros Aristodemou and three others, including his wife Sotiroulla, should be remanded in Police custody for eight days.

Paphos-General-HospitalFOLLOWING an eight hour session at the Paphos District Court yesterday, the judge remanded all four defendants in a case involving alleged fraud in the division of a number of plots in Paphos pending a ruling today.

Theodoros Aristodemou, the founder and managing director of Aristo Developers and former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bank of Cyprus, spent last night in the Paphos General Hospital under police guard, while the other three defendants spent the night behind bars.

Following his arrest on Thursday, Aristodemou fell ill and was unable to attend the remand hearing yesterday. He was admitted to the Paphos General Hospital with high blood pressure where he remains in intensive care.

His doctors confirmed that he should remain in hospital; he has also waived his right to be present during today’s hearing.

The former chairman of the Bank of Cyprus, Aristodemou quit his post in August 2012 citing “serious health issues” in his letter of resignation. He assumed the chairmanship in May 2008 and had been a member of the board since 1991.

Update – 20 September 14:00

Prominent land developer Theodoros Aristodimou, his wife, and two others, have been remanded in custody for eight days in connection with zoning violations in Paphos.

Aristodimou is still in hospital where he was admitted on Friday with high blood pressure.

They were all arrested on Thursday in connection with the demarcation of 177 land plots in Skali.

Investigators are looking into whether Aristo Developers grabbed 2,750 square metres of land earmarked for green spaces and pavements, as well as looking into alleged forged documents relating to planning permission for the Skali area.

Readers' comments

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  • @Denton Mackrell on 2014/09/22 at 3:17 pm There’s a report in today’s Financial Times that makes for interesting reading. It talks about:

    Aristo Developers owing more than €200m to Bank of Cyprus. His arrest signalled that a clique of business owners once considered immune to prosecution may now be vulnerable.

    Aristo’s own debt grew from €25m in 2006 to €200m in 2011 while Mr Aristodemou was serving on the bank’s board and later as chairman, according to testimony by a Bank of Cyprus official.

    President Nicos Anastasiades has said “prosecutions will begin” by the end of this year.

    Other property developments by Aristo are also under scrutiny as part of a probe launched in July by the Cyprus attorney-general’s office. Police recently raided the company’s headquarters and seized computer disks and more than 150 project files. (Another report says one of those projects is the Kings Avenue Mall in Paphos).

    Mr Aristodemou resigned suddenly in 2012, citing health reasons, when the bank decided to seek €675m in emergency state aid following heavy losses on its holdings of Greek sovereign bonds.

  • Denton Mackrell says:

    Last night, a consensus of Cypriot friends was that Aristo (Arresto??) is being sized up, basted and garnished by the authorities as the prize turkey. Remember, this fraud he allegedly undertook at the Land Registry is but one of a number of cases he allegedly was involved in viz. the self-granted unsecured loan of Euro 237m from BoC while he was in the interest-conflicted role of BoC chairman, the baffling collapse of the Aphrodite Rock deal with an equally baffling Chinese company after a mother-of-all fanfares. Where did he get the Euro 100m+ from to build his mega mansion? Why is his company high on the list of NPL villains owing hundreds of millions to the banks and does he also owe the Inland Revenue millions in tax arrears? Then there are the upcoming criminal charges announced by the government against bankers and state officials held culpable for the March 2013 financial collapse. Will his name be on that list?

    The US authorities couldn’t get Al Capone on murder and other gangster charges so they got him on tax evasion. My Cypriot friends say that Aristo has become the unacceptable face of Cypriot demagoguery and they are hoping that he will be made the first sacrificial goat on the cull list of his peers.

  • Richard says:

    I wonder if the Paphos Court is aware of the high blood pressure some of US are now experiencing following the stress of this Cypriot horror story!

    I bet the guy wasn’t lying on his hospital bed when people were waving money under his nose a few years ago!

  • Zak sheikh says:

    Not so much of the untouchables now.

  • demetri says:

    Pandora’s box is about to open, if they extend their searches to other ‘big’ developers they will find numerous cases where these people have built DIY centres etc in places otherwise only to be used for residential properties….got first hand info about one case where there is a court order for one such place to be demolished….which means loss of jobs etc no easy fix alas.

  • despina nikolaou says:

    Mr. Aristodimou a chairman of the board of directors of the bank of Cyprus and also director of Aristo developers how can this be; having two very important positions; Did he use his position in the bank in order to finance Aristo developers; I have given a plot 12 years ago to be developed by Scanner unithome mansions ltd owned by Lambros Xenis of Larnaca who has unlawfully and by forgery having the assistance of the land registry of Larnaca has taken my land for his own property. He and his family threatened me badly that I would be beatened up if I pursued my case in the courts.For two and I half years I was in bed with heavy medication I left reality due to to fear and I am still waiting to be justified by the Cypriot courts which keep postponing my court cases for the past seven years. How come people like Aristodimou and other people very well known in Cyprus get their court cases done quickly and other people like me have to wait and suffer with so many lies so many years. Aristodimou should be judged after 10 YEARS FROM NOW. HA HA.

  • MartynG says:

    Simply Amazing how over the years so many of these prominent Cypriot ‘personalities’ suddenly fall ill after they have been ‘challenged’ about their business, professional and other affairs/conduct. Intensive care for hypertension seems rather extreme!

  • Viennese says:

    SHAMELESS !

    This person and others so called “developers” and all their pribes (Banks/Municipality) have to stand trial.

    Sickening!

  • Mike says:

    Is it my imagination or does this affliction seems to be a common one amongst those suspected of wrong doing, about to be investigated and who are in positions to wield influence. I guess it must be the lifestyle. It is said that the process of digestion would increase blood pressure as of course would any drug that restricts the arteries – but that would be unthinkable wouldn’t it? We must assume it is a very severe case to warrant intensive care, that is a service generally reserved for immediate life threatening cases and exceptionally costly so we should wish the gentleman a speedy recovery and hope he is in a position to join his good lady wife at the earliest opportunity. I’m sure she must be missing him terribly and be beside herself with concern for his well being.

  • Steve R says:

    Aristo has let his wife and the two other accused go to jail while he is sat in a nice warm hospital bed getting his three meals a day choosing from a nice menu. That shows the measure of this guy. If I were his wife the first thing I would do would be to file for a divorce when she gets out.

  • Frank says:

    Intensive care for High Blood Pressure! Astonishing!

    According to the World Health Organisation: “the number of people with uncontrolled hypertension rose from 600 million in 1980 to nearly 1 billion in 2008.” Note that this refers to “uncontrolled hypertension”. We need a lot of Intensive Care beds; if this is to be normal practice and to include the non-millionaires among us.

    Tell him to cut down on his salt intake and put him in jail!

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