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Aristodemou: trial date set (update)

The boss of Aristo Developers, Theodoros Aristodemou, and three of the other four suspects in the alleged Skali land scam were released under terms on Tuesday until their trial on 30 October.

Paphos District Court

Paphos District Court

AT A hearing the Paphos District Court earlier today, the judge ordered that four of the five individuals initially detained in connection with the alleged Aristo Developer’s Skali land scam will be tried on 30th October.

The four detained are the founder and MD of Aristo Developers Limited, Theodoros Aristodemou, his wife Roulla, former municipal engineer Savvas Savva and Aristo draughtsman Christos Solomonides.

Solomonides has admitted forging documents that allowed Aristo to develop on a considerably larger land area at Skali, claiming that he did so under instructions by his superiors and that it was standard practice. (Solomonides works in Aristo Developer’s design department, which is headed by Roulla Aristodemou.)

The fifth suspect, Paphos Municipality technical officer Soulla Kouspou, was not charged and has agreed to appear as a prosecution witness when case goes to trial. It is unclear whether the charges against the 36 year-old will be dropped.

During today’s hearing, the prosecuting authorities demanded that all four defendants remained in custody until their trial date as they could influence the outcome of the investigation if released.

According to the state broadcaster CYBC, today’s hearing led to a strong reaction, primarily from Theodoros Aristodemou, his wife Roulla.

Before the judge entered the courtroom, Roulla Aristodemo called on those present to wake up since they themselves are the scapegoats in the case and others will follow.

There was also a heated exchange between Theodoros Aristodemou and the police who were asking him to calm down with Aristodemou declaring vociferously that he would not be gagged and bound by anyone.

Update Tuesday 7 October

The Cyprus Mail reports that the four suspects in an alleged attempt by land development company Aristo Developers to defraud the state were released under terms today, pending trial before a Criminal Court on October 30.

The court has adjourned briefly before reconvening to set the terms of the suspects’ release.

Readers' comments

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  • @Steve on 2014/10/07 at 7:24 pm and @Dunn Good on 2014/10/07 at 1:32 pm – In my opinion, the lawyer representing you failed in his duty of care by failing to check planned developments that could affect you.

    It could also be argued that the developer failed to comply with law 103(I)/2007, which came into force on December 12th 2007, as the company failed to advise you of material facts “A commercial practice shall be regarded as misleading if, in its factual context, taking account of all its features and circumstances and the limitations of the communication medium, it omits material information that the average consumer needs, according to the context, to take an informed transactional decision and thereby causes or is likely to cause the average consumer to take a transactional decision that he would not have taken otherwise.

    I.e. had you been advised of the plans to build in front of you, clearly you would not have bought.

  • Steve says:

    @ Dunn Good

    That is a very familiar story. If you go to Paphos Town Planning and ask when planning permission was granted for your development and the one in front of you, you might well find, as we did, that planning permission was granted first for the buildings in front of you. We would like to think we will pull the champagne corks if ‘Ari’ is found guilty and goes to jail, but if his company folds as a consequence we may not get our title deeds, so maybe no reason to celebrate.

  • Dunn Good says:

    My neighbour and we, my wife and I, purchased from Aristo in Peyia with a nice view to the sea down the hill. There was a strip of land in front of our plot next to a cemetery. When our neighbour asked about the land being developed we were told by Aristo that it was `ear marked` by the council for the cemetery expansion. That was a lie, within two years there was a block of apartments on it blocking our sea view and reducing our values. Their excuses were feeble and unfounded, `we didn`t know plans would change` they said. One owner measured the height and of course it was over the limit, two levels apartments over parking, what else !! The poor purchasers, probably had a lovely view on their brochures of the front, but from their balconies they are right above rows of gravestones. Which have now been levelled and double stacked Hmmm, only for foreigners though.

  • Richard says:

    Lets hope this is the start of some actual prosecutions that begin to change the corrupt culture of the Republic and create a better state.

    I’m (eternally) hopeful but (realistic) enough to not hold my breath.

  • AnnDee says:

    Lets hope they are brave enough to spill the beans and point the finger at the other big developer families.

  • Deanna says:

    “… with Aristodemou declaring vociferously that he would not be gagged and bound by anyone.”

    It’s all over, my friend, you are no longer king of your castle – or any castle. Now be a good boy…

  • Steve says:

    Right, we can see the smoke, so let’s see if there’s a fire. It will only be a small fire for now, but Mr Solomonides says this fiddling of development areas is common practice and I am sure the police will be going through with him the records and plans they seized from Aristo. I cannot imagine how, with all the multitude of checks and measurements with tapes done in the obtaining of final approval and title deeds that no one noticed that there were green areas smaller than those required by law. However, that is going to come out now, maybe with other contraventions of planning permissions and then there will be a big fire. I wonder whether the Aristodemous and their company will be going up in smoke too. Then it will be a very big fire.

  • Costiz Afortune says:

    Why can’t people just accept & see that fraud and deception have spiralled out of control on this island? This is just the tip of the iceberg and authority’s need to give their heads a big shake and realise that they cannot keep dishing out paltry minimum sentences which is merely a slap on the wrist and therefore making the whole system a complete joke ! With the amount of cases against others including Alpha Bank, Developer Alpha Panareti, and local Paphos lawyers surely now is the time to hit these people hard and start to clean up the mess these people are causing for the aptly named ” Cyprus, the island of fraud”!

  • stevie R says:

    GUILTY as the day is long. Watch the absolute minimum sentence get handed out on these crooks. Prosecution seem to be starting at the top and working down I hope. Whilst they have got him on the back foot why not try him for all the tax he no doubt owes.

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