Latest Headlines

O’Dwyer hopes quest for justice is finally over

British man Conor O’Dwyer hopes his fifteen-year quest for justice over a dodgy property sale will come to an end on Friday when the Supreme Court in Nicosia hears his appeal.

Conor O'Dwyer set up camp opposite Supreme Court

Conor O’Dwyer camping opposite the Supreme Court (Christos Theodorides)

A TORTUOUS 15-year fight over a dodgy property sale and defamation case may finally be coming to an end this Friday when the Supreme Court is due to hear a British man’s appeal.

The appeal alone has taken nearly eight years to be heard.

In 2005, Conor O’Dwyer bought a property in the Famagusta district which ended in a bitter legal dispute when the developer resold his house to another British family at a higher price.

He has arrived nearly a week early in anticipation of the case and is protesting outside the Supreme Court in Nicosia. Pictures O’Dwyer posted on Twitter show he has turned up well prepared with posters, toothpaste and a toothbrush, a tent with placards criticising Cypriot justice and other gear to see him through until Friday.

According to O’Dwyer not only was the original sale to him registered with the land registry department, but the developer also kept the money he had paid.

In 2012 courts ruled in favour of O’Dwyer on the grounds of the resale of his home, but also found him guilty of defamation of the developer and he was fined €60,000.

“What we are fighting against is twofold. First is the issue that O’Dwyer won the case but was not awarded all the damages and legal fees he should have got,” his lawyer Giannos Georgiades told the Cyprus Mail on Monday. “And also that his freedom of speech was not respected when the judge found him guilty of defamation.”

Georgiades also says that O’Dwyer is a family man who was dragged into a drawn-out legal battle and went up against property developers at the height of their powers during the building boom of the early 2000s.

Since 2005 O’Dwyer has become active in various groups advising Britons not to buy properties in Cyprus. In March 2019 he organised a protest outside a major property exhibition in London and warned about purchasing houses on the island.

In November the British government upheld its advice of exercising “extreme caution” when buying a property if the title deeds are not readily available.

People buying property in Cyprus in some cases have become “trapped buyers”.

The British High Commission’s advice page still warns that developers take out mortgages on land or property and that signing a contract under these conditions makes the buyer ultimately liable for the loan.

Lawyers are not required to check for mortgages automatically.

While a law in 2015 attempted to solve the incredibly complex issue, as of 2018 there were still as many as 70,000 trapped property buyers without title deeds.

However, member of the House interior committee Andreas Kyprianou told the Cyprus Mail last month that “the 2015 law is working very well and many people have had their title deeds restored, the bill is being enforced.”

“The British government has been warning of this issue for a while, and perhaps there are some people with outstanding issues – but to my knowledge the bill is working well,” Kyprianou concluded.

Readers' comments

Comments on this article are no longer being accepted.

  • Lost Faith in Justice says:

    Is there a comprehensive list of court cases / numbers of British people involved in this “fiasco”, other than on the court listings (if they haven’t been suppressed)? Is there a list of “successful” or “semi-successful” cases? We know that winning doesn’t necessarily mean justice as settlements are not paid (as in Conor’s case, Mr Johnson’s and the Beaumont case from 2011), but it might be helpful to victims of mis-selling when preparing their defences against their Banks/ developers and/ or solicitors.

    I can’t find your case on a supreme court search Derek Anthony Jones. Did you win? Is your judgement public?

    We need to get a list of successful cases / resources so that people can quickly refer to the decisions and argue the valid points, especially if they can’t afford legal representation.

    Please, anyone looking into buying in Cyprus and tempted by “pre-2007 prices” and dreamy climate (and access to Europe post Brexit) think long and hard. Read the articles / comments on this excellent site (going back to 2006) and judge for yourselves. There will plenty of repossessed “bargains” being sold at auction by the Banks which will keep property prices suppressed. Look at Conor’s YouTube videos at beyond contempt and read his history on LyingBuilder.com. He is a very eloquent story teller. I wish I’d heard his story before we were duped. These horror stories are not one-off. It really is a massive problem with variations of same issues being repeated thousands of times over (and not just for British / Irish / Chinese foreigners) and for the Cypriots themselves (50% NPL ESTIA take-up). Don’t get sucked in.

    If any readers have any useful tips, please share them.

  • Lost Faith in Justice says:

    Good luck Connor. There are many people rooting for you. Luck should have nothing to do with your case, but luck is what you need. There will be no or little justice in Cyprus for victims of property misselling as everything is stacked in favour of the Developers, the Banks and the Solicitors which Nigel has continued to record, in the public interest. This is the goto place to find out what the competent authorities such as the CCPS, the Financial Ombudsman and the Cyprus Bar Association should be telling consumers / warning them against (but they don’t). Even the few who have achieved “moral” victories in the Cyprus Courts have not recouped their losses – and I suspect that applies to Connor. I hope you have an honest lawyer Connor who serves you well. Thank you Nigel for keeping hope alive and victims of property (and the associated CHF loan) misselling up to date. Where would be without you? In the dark.

  • steve says:

    Conor O’Dwyer may not have won all his battles but he has cost the Cyprus developers a fortune due to adverse publicity – there are plenty of other places that buyers can spend their money. Current Cyprus property values are on average around 50% of their 2008 values.

    The adverse publicity surrounding this case, plus the Swiss franc mortgage scam and the title deeds fiasco have turned many buyers away. Any Expat buying here who has avoided all the pitfalls is just plain lucky.

    The biggest losers long-term will be Cyprus and the Cypriots.

  • Derek Anthony Jones says:

    When we took our case to the Supreme Court over the judge no making a decision on our case the president of the Supreme Court was reported to have said three days later in the Cyprus Sunday mail that Cyprus has a judicial system that of a third world country with constant delays was denying people justice I hope O’Dwyer can get justice Cyprus must have the worst justice system in the EU.

    Ed: “Justice delayed is justice denied” (William Ewart Gladstone), “justice too long delayed is justice denied” (Martin Luther King, Jr.), “To no one will we sell, to no one will we refuse or delay, right or justice.” (Exodus 18:22).

  • In 2010 Christoforos Karayiannas and his son Marios received a 10-month suspended jail sentence after being found guilty of actual bodily harm (ABH) resulting from their brutal attack on Conor O’Dwyer a couple of years earlier, which put Conor in the Larnaca hospital for six days.

    The judge fined a third person allegedly involved for the assault, Charalambous Ttigis, €3,000.

    The judge reduced the conviction from grievous bodily harm (GBH) to ABH, and from a custodial to a suspended sentence.

    The sentences followed an equally lenient sentence handed down to Christoforos Karayiannas for crashing into Conor’s car during an incident in 2007. He received a mere two penalty points on his driving licence. Had he been given three he would have lost his licence.

    In 2012 the Famagusta District Court acknowledged that Karayiannas had unlawfully terminated Conor’s contract.

    Although the court awarded Conor €141,000 in compensation, which came to around €200,000 with interest, for their unlawful act, it instructed Conor to pay some €60,000 (over €85,000 with interest) for defaming Karayiannas on one of his websites. (As far as I’m aware, Conor hasn’t received a penny of the compensation he was awarded.)

    We know that European law precedents are heavily weighted towards the protection of freedom of speech and people’s right to express their opinion, even against major corporations.

    Conor successfully applied to the Supreme Court for Legal Aid.

    According to EC Directive 2002/8/EC, legal aid covers the cost of (a) Interpretation; (b) translation of the documents required by the court or by the competent authority and presented by the recipient which are necessary for the resolution of the case; and (c) travel costs to be borne by the applicant where the physical presence of the persons concerned with the presentation of the applicant’s case is required in court by the law or by the court of that Member State and the court decides that the persons concerned cannot be heard to the satisfaction of the court by any other means.

    To date, Conor has received no legal aid.

  • Dave Goodman says:

    Hi Conor

    Hope it all goes well …wish you all the very best.

    Regards

    Dave Goodman

  • Costas Apacket says:

    The Pick & Mix injustice system in Cyprus needs to be dismantled and rebuilt into a fair and equal EU Justice system that is fit for purpose and this will only happen when people like yourself do what you’re doing Conor.

    You have our total support!

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

SELECTED REPORTS

Back to top