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Paphos mayor in court today (Update)

Savvas Vergas, the Paphos mayor, is scheduled to appear before the Paphos District Court today in connection with threatening SMS messages sent to a number of people involved in the Aristo case.

Savvas-Vergas-Paphos-mayorPAPHOS Mayor Savvas Vergas will appear in court on Thursday to hear charges of conspiracy to commit a crime, related to SMS messages sent from the mobile phone of a municipal worker to several people involved in a major property fraud case.

Vergas, too, was allegedly one of the recipients of the threatening text messages that were tracked down to the smartphone held by municipal marketing officer Maria Solomonidou, wife of a draftsman working at Aristo Developers, who is the centre piece of the whole scandal.

The smartphone was purchased by the mayor and ended up in his aides hands to help her with her workload, Vergas had said in earlier statements.

However, investigators triangulated the transmission of the text messages and believe that the mayor and Solomonidou were in the same location when the threats were sent out.

Aristo founder and former Bank of Cyprus Chairman Theodoros Aristodemou, as well as his architect wife Roulla, were released last week after being held in connection with a land zoning case involving a major development in the Strakka area of Paphos, where the company allegedly altered plans in order to gain usable land and make more money. Similar allegations have been put forward regarding the commercial use and parking lot allocation at the King’s Mall project in Kato Paphos.

Aristodemou claims he and his wife are innocent and that they are the victims of a vicious attack against his company.

Two Paphos municipal employees were also held during the investigations, for aiding in the alteration of the land zoning documents, with investigators finding amounts in their bank accounts that had been unaccounted for or unjustified.

Meanwhile, Maria Solomonidou is also embroiled in another case involving a concert given in summer by pop star Sakis Rouvas, as the company in which she appears to have an interest never paid the municipality the fees it had promised, according to complaints filed by another municipal councillor.

Update 17 October 2014

The Paphos district court remanded Savvas Vergas in custody for four days following a seven hour hearing. The police had requested an eight-day remand, but the court decided this was excessive.

Vergas, the Paphos mayor, faces charges of conspiring to commit a felony, conspiring to commit a misdemeanour, sending written death threats, interfering with a court procedure and sending harmful texts.

The court said there was a ‘plausible link’ between Vergas and the charges levelled against him.

Readers' comments

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  • demetri says:

    @despina, caught with 20grams of cannabis you go to jail….

    yes cover up will continue, vergas was held for 4 days as opposed to 8 as police requested….what has he done since, chaired a meeting with his buddies on how to deal with solomonides! who is also under scrutiny with himself! police are furious that letting him out early means he can ‘influence’ people….

  • Nick says:

    Sorry guys, this entire business is simply a ‘minor misunderstanding’. And even if I am wrong, it is nothing that a small number of Presidential pardons cannot sort out; we are talking Pafos here, after all.

  • despina nikolaou says:

    Who goes to jail in cyprus; Vergas and half of cyprus should all be jailed for life. I hope this time they will follow European laws. I was threatened by the developer lambros xenis and his sister varvara that a man named fanieros would beat me up if i continued demanding my property back and i left reality for two and a half years due to fear. I am fighting for nearly 13 years to be judged. He is free and enjoying my property. People like Petrides and Christakes from the Land Registry who give innocent peoples property to these thieves should be thrown out from the land registry and jailed. By whom i wonder; Vergas and the rest of you ROT in jail.

  • Steve says:

    Please don’t forget that the legal profession that everyone seems to be expecting to sort out Aristo, Vergas and others is the same one that has been helping in the screwing of innocent property buyers for years. Don’t get your hopes up too high!

  • MartynG says:

    The Aristo…….case has put the cat amongst the pigeons, that’s for sure; the Vergas stuff adds plenty of spice to that one – but let’s wait until we hear some verdicts before we start to hear whether more stones, boulders and the like are about to be lifted.

    Meantime, today we learn that a previous Governor of the Central Bank is openly admitting tax evasion – and, hey, saying lots of other (top people) were at it too! (CM today: ‘He says the whole affair was a smear campaign and half the island should have been charged with the same offences’) !!

    Problem now then is to try work out which Half of the Island!

    If somebody can crack that one – and collect the Euro-millions involved – then maybe the next Troika release of Bailout monies wouldn’t be needed?

    Let’s just hope that the long overdue Big Cyprus Clean Up gets fully underway – and soon!

    But has the state enough Detectives, Police Officers, Judges and the like to handle all this dirty brown stuff? Certainly the lawyers will be rubbing their hands with glee again! No more Overseas property buyers to bamboozle and the banks – wonder why? – seemingly unwilling to do what banks are meant to do in such ‘austere’ times, tackling – and maybe help remedying? – a few major NPLs with strange ‘underpinnings’ – identifying and collecting out on high level Tax evasions could do wonders for the beleaguered Cyprus economy.

  • Richard says:

    Well – whether any of it sticks or not StevieR it scarcely matters. Whichever way it goes now in court – the job of highlighting just how corruption in the Republic is a pandemic, systematic way of life is done.

    That’s the main feature film here. Corruption. The Central Banking system, the government (local and national), the legal system and the developers all have their snouts in the same trough.

    It’s a huge problem – and not just in Cyprus. The key issue for property owners and those who have not even received property is the location of Cyprus will allow geo-political ‘relief’ cards (“get out of jail free”) to be played if we are not careful. This is due to the issues in the Middle East and the consequent “usefulness” of the Republic’s location to powerful third-party nations.

    I strongly suspect that’s what’s allowed this culture to flourish in the first place..

  • Costas Apacket says:

    Time to reserve the hospital bed.

  • Stuart says:

    The criminal trial commencing on 30 October will be hailed by all those fighting for justice in Cyprus as the harbinger of a spring of retribution following the long winter of fraud and corruption. But will the punishments fit the crimes, I wonder?

  • Irene says:

    This is the tip of the iceberg there is so much corruption from the very top to the bottom.

  • Mike says:

    I wonder how long it will be before someone breaks the wall of silence and denial and starts the chain of blame where developers, lawyers, planners, land registry officers, bank officers, agents and politicians are implicated. I guess they must all be scampering around like headless chickens right now shredding and eliminating all incriminating documentary evidence just in case. I think there is a lot more to come on this fiasco assuming a political decision is not taken to put a lid on it in the “interests of the economy and national interest”.

    How the rest of Europe are interpreting this debacle and the other almost daily debacles is anyone’s guess.

  • stevie R says:

    Well the manure has really hit the fan with this one. Everybody starting to chirp now and blaming each other for their actions. Why cant this case be televised like the athlete’s case in America. It would have much better entertainment value.

    At the end of the day it comes down to how much of the manure sticks. Lets see

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