FOTOS PITTADJIS, the lawyer at the centre of yesterday’s peaceful protest in Paphos, has given his side of the story concerning allegations made against him to the Cyprus Mail. In an article by Bejay Browne in today’s paper, he said:
“I have heard about this demo, and I must say I find it offensive and annoying. It all seems to be organised by Chris Wood and Conor O’Dwyer.
“My father represented O’Dwyer in court, and the case was lost.”
Pittadjis continued, “I’ve represented thousands of British nationals, and offered a high degree of legal service, it’s highly unlikely that the people outside were my clients.”
He added, “As regards Chris Wood, he was only my client for one week. He then decided not to buy the property in question.”
“In Wood’s case, the developer had mortgaged the land. In turn, Chris got a mortgage from the bank, and I explained to him, the mortgage would be taken off the developer’s name and put into his.
“He then told me he wasn’t happy with this and he wanted his money back. He pulled out because of the recession and he’s picking on me.”
Pittadjis continued, “I explained this would be difficult as we had signed a sales contract, but I called the developer to try and negotiate. I was assured by the developer he would refund all the money, I’m sure Chris has had it back.”
Pittadjis believes all of his clients to be happy and assured that his company are careful to provide a high level of legal advice.
Often in Cyprus, properties are built on land mortgaged by the developer in order to fund another project.
“I never accept to release the final payment instalment unless the bank issues a waiver to free the property of the mortgage,” said Pittadjis.
“I’ve spent thousands ensuring that I have highly trained staff, so that this sort of situation can be avoided. I want to protect my reputation. People never get to hear my side of the story, and it’s unfair,” he added.
Pittadjis said he checks the mortgage imposed on a property and that the relevant building permit is in place.
“If anyone is a cash buyer, I check I’ve received a waiver form the bank before we release the third and final stage payment,” he stressed.
He added, “Chris even contacted me to negotiate his legal fees. I decided not to charge him anything, so as not to experience any further problems.”
“I’ve provided a good service to thousands of people. As if I would risk everything for a couple of thousand euros,” he said.
Pittadjis himself is one of many purchasers who have brought a property without title deeds.
“Cyprus was never prepared for this building fever,” he pointed out. “I hope that in two or three years, the new legislation will allow owners to apply for title deeds, and all the problems can be resolved.”
Pittadjis concluded, “I have to be honest. Some of these people are right: there are lawyers who might release payment without checking the situation but we never do that.
“We always make sure we have a bank waiver. That’s why the developers have never wanted to work with me – and this is why I’m so hurt by these accusations now.”