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Dear Mr Attorney-General

In an open letter to the Cyprus Attorney General, Petros Clerides, Gavin Jones wants to know what it will take to get a reply to his complaint filed with the Disciplinary Board of Advocates a year ago.

Petros Clerides

IN COMMON with many people who have contacted me, Gavin Jones has considerable difficulties in getting an answer to a complaint he has lodged with the Disciplinary Board of Advocates. (You may also find the article by Antonis Louizou entitled ‘Well meaning or crooked lawyers’ interesting).

IN JUNE this year, you were interviewed by the Sunday Mail and were quoted as saying that ‘my only goal is to leave this post and have a good name, nothing more‘. In order to assist you in achieving this ambition, I would ask you to consider some serious issues which may well prevent you from realising your objective, together with some suggestions for removing these constraints.

I should, however, declare that I have a number of grievances with the justice system in Cyprus that are but examples of a generic malaise of which countless others are also casualties.

Twelve months ago almost to the day, I sent you, in your role as President of the Disciplinary Board of Advocates, all the corroborative evidence that would have enabled the Board to seriously consider striking off, fining and launching criminal proceedings for gross malpractice and fraud against the lawyer of my late Cypriot mother. Despite my original letter, follow-up correspondence and telephone calls, I have heard nothing.

It would appear that the Disciplinary Board has chosen to ignore the detailed evidence laid before it and has allowed a member of the Cyprus Bar Association to continue practicing.

Does the Disciplinary Board have any intention of ever addressing the fact that my deceased mother’s lawyer submitted false affidavits to the court without a death certificate and eliminated me as an executor of her will?

He also stated that he couldn’t locate me and that she’d died in England in 1998 when in reality she died in Paphos in 2007. Will there be an investigation as to how Paphos District Court authorised this lawyer to obtain ‘legal’ control over my mother’s affairs without demanding sight of a death certificate which would have proved conclusively that his affidavits were fraudulent?

Will I be recompensed for the inconvenience of having to obtain legal advice, return to court, remove my mother’s lawyer as sole executor and have myself reinstated as executor?

Are we to believe that the Disciplinary Board doesn’t take its duties seriously enough and is so overloaded with complaints that it is unable to process these within a reasonable timescale?

The Board presides over a body of barely 2,000 members and yet it has taken 52 weeks and no resolution to my case has been forthcoming.

Some would say that my mother’s and other lawyers who have been cited for fraudulent and negligent behaviour may well have powerful and influential allies. I’d like to think that this isn’t the case but inaction naturally invites such speculation.

As the Board gives the impression of acting in the best interests of its members rather than protecting their clients and the public, it suggests that this reticence to speedily confront fraud head-on within the profession has become institutionalised

You and your Board members may be unaware of the general consensus that a great many Cypriot lawyers are considered self-serving and untrustworthy pariahs and that their professional body, the Cyprus Bar Association, puts their interests firmly above those of the public.

This cosy modus operandi might have been the norm and considered acceptable when Nicosia, Limassol and Paphos were nothing more than oversized villages. In those days our ancestors ‘fixed’ situations with impunity. But times have changed and standards and expectations have risen

If you wish to leave the post of Attorney General with ‘a good name, nothing more’, the Disciplinary Board of Advocates and the Cyprus Bar Association should take a good look at themselves and make the necessary changes so that they’re seen to be part of the solution and not part of the problem.

An avalanche of questions is being raised in the European Parliament about many negative aspects of the administration and delivery of justice here.

The choices are clear-cut. The current judicial regime can remain untouched or else reforms can be introduced which will inject some extra credibility into the legal system to ensure that justice is done and seen to be done.

As a reformist, you will most certainly leave the post of Attorney General with ‘a good name’. I therefore urge you and your colleagues to make the right choice.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely

Gavin Jones
Paphos

Readers' comments

Comments on this article are no longer being accepted.

  • John Andrea says:

    The Cyprus Bar has failed in its role as a regulatory body. Furthermore they act as a closed shop and lack the most basic transparency while they hate to answer questions. It would appear that the Bar association does not consider relevant the Maxim “Justice must not just be done but be seen to be done”.

  • Andreas Spiliotis says:

    Hello Gavin,

    You need to understand who you are trying to take on… A sizeable portion of elitists in ALL countries of the world come from a legal background. So when you think you can easily take on a lawyer i.e. by appealing to the Disciplinary Board of Advocates against one of their own, then it is no surprise that your case will be buried under the pile of other complaints or get ‘lost’ in a labyrinth of procedures with the ultimate aim of disheartening you and indirectly encouraging you to quit.

    Hence you are left with 4 possible choices:

    1. quit

    2. if you are retired and have some time in your hands, camp outside Clerides office and take drastic measures i.e. hunger strike, sing the British national anthem really loudly and off-tune and generally try to embarrass them. DO NOT under any circumstances insult or assault anyone, they will be looking for any excuse to turn the tables and make you the defendant!!

    3. camp outside the crooked lawyers office holding a sign “lier, cheat, thief e.t.c e.t.c ….”

    4. hire the Cyprus mafia and have them pay the crooked lawyer a visit at night time. This last piece of advise can actually work against you because lawyers have plenty of money and they can hire others to pay YOU a visit…

  • Gavin Jones says:

    To All.

    Many thanks for your messages of support as a result of my letter.

    There’s little more that I can add other than to ask you and your friends to do your bit by making representations to all and sundry.

    My particular ‘beef’ is but one of many injustices which are connected to a whole raft of related topics.

    The silence from the authorities is indeed deafening but we must persist in our efforts.

    Once again, thank you.

  • Costas Apacket says:

    By entering your UK post code into this website: http://www.writetothem.com/ it automatically identifies your local MP and all of your MEP’s from all parties.

    It is very simple to send an email both to your MP and also all of your MEP’s as a group, (eg one email goes to all your local MEP’s), by completing a very simple template with your personal details and your views about the situation in the Cypriot property market.

    It’s also useful to give your MP & MEP’s the links to the Cyprus Property News and Cyprus Mail so that they can read for themselves about the property market shambles here in Cyprus.

    By making an initial contact with your MP and MEP this will help to inform them and keep the ball rolling.

    Once the legislation becomes clearer we can then use these same links to co-ordinate our comments should the legislation not address the key issues as Denis says very eloquently in his post in the CM.

  • yrret says:

    Excellently scribed letter Mr Jones.

    What this matter proves as much as anything is that it is as unsafe, if not more unsafe to buy in the RoC than it is in the North.

    Unfortunately, with a previously reported number of up to 100,000 houses in the RoC without, and unlikely to ever receive title deeds, this is only the tip of the iceberg.

    To anyone planning to purchase in the RoC, be very very careful, and only spend what you can afford to lose.

  • paul ruse says:

    Well done Sir, you have demonstrated a very high standard in self control.

    Which sets a standard to which our MPs and Euro MPs cannot and should not ignore. I will forward your open letter to my MP and Euro MPs. I hope that every one else who reads this will do the same.

    It is no use complaining in a group of like minded people we have to spread the message far and wide.

    Look where the developers are searching out new people to con along with Lawyers and estate agents. And advise the press in those countries to spread the word. Keep up the pressure its the only way forward.

  • Anndeee says:

    If Gavin wants any evidence for the AG that his fantastic mother was alive after her apparent death in UK in 1998, I have photos to prove it, as she was a member of our group on a tour of Jordan in September 2001.

  • Chris Woodward says:

    I have this feeling that we will have to watch this space, maybe for some considerable time as the bar association appears to be more a ‘Friends Society’ for its members, rather than ensuring good practice and fairness towards the many clients, many of them British who placed their trust in such unscrupulous individuals.

    We had expected that the lawyer we employed at considerable cost would be acting in our best interests. The truth is they see us all as ‘cash cows’ In hindsight we were totally wrong in our own assumption and should never have got involved. No wonder we got lots of smiles at the time or were they just laughing thinking here comes another pair of mugs!

  • Martin Law says:

    Dear Mr Jones

    Having lost a considerable amount of money to an unscrupulous Developer in Cyprus who ceased trading but still owes millions of pounds to many of their customers and who is now trading again under another name based in Paphos. I have tried to get any help at all from the High Commissioner, Cyprus Police Authority, Cyprus Estate Agents Association, Attorney General, to name but a few, over the past two years and have not received a reply from any of them!!!!!

    The whole judicial system appears to have closed ranks to protect this crooked Developer and more importantly the Cyprus property industry.

  • Costas Apacket says:

    Well done Gavin, a more clear cut case you couldn’t wish to have.

    It’s clear however that the AG’s comments – ‘my only goal is to leave this post and have a good name, nothing more‘ are aimed at his Cypriot Legal Brethren and not at their long suffering clients.

    The clues are in the AG’s statement:

    1. He’s only warming the seat until he can walk away with his gold plated pension, hence the reference to leaving.

    2. He wants to maintain his good name only with the self interest group which he represents, hence the reference to having a good name.

    Until the EU force a root and branch review of the way the legal system actually operates in Cyprus then the AG will just sit on his hands and hope he will be safely in retirement before the SH one T hits the fan.

    I wish you the best with your quest.

  • Tom says:

    Dont expect any answers there then. There is no culpability in Cyprus. Most of the lawyers in Cyprus can do what they want when they want and if you dare to complain they send a massive bill and then claim defamation of character. They will never clean up the shop until someone makes them.

  • James JH lockhart says:

    Gavin letter is Addressed to The Right person ie

    Who Keeping the Cork In the Large Bottle Of Complaints ?

    I myself am Waiting 3 years 4 Months For My Case, Even though the CBA Gave promises to the BHC 17 Months Ago I was top of the List !!

    It Appears talking to Other complainers there is a Set pattern how the CBA deals with Complaints.

    So Who Authorises the Cork ????

  • peter says:

    I hope that this is a translation for the benefit of the English readers and that the originals were sent in Greek.

  • Dee says:

    An excellent letter Mr Jones – and written with much restraint. I, and countless others, wish you success.

  • Denton Mackrell says:

    Great stuff! GJ is right that with so many complaints the Cyprus injustice system is now being examined by the European Parliament and Commission. I am told that it’s the current AG who is seen to be ‘a key problem’. Don’t hold your breath that this AG and all whom he controls/protects will change their ways voluntarily though.

  • jon frazer says:

    THANK YOU GAVIN JONES.

    You have succinctly expressed what we and many, many others have long thought.

    We know how lengthy and difficult this has been for you, and very much hope that this marks the turning point for you, and the many others like you, who have suffered for too long under this crooked unjust “legal” system.

    Here’s hoping the AG pays serious heed to your words.

  • The views expressed in readers' comments are not necessarily shared by the Cyprus Property News.

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