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Wednesday 2nd December 2020
Home Legal Matters Conor O'Dwyer arrested outside AG's office

Conor O’Dwyer arrested outside AG’s office

A British man who has been involved in a long and exhausting property dispute in Cyprus that lasted over 15 years, was arrested on Monday outside the attorney-general’s office in Nicosia, but was later released without charge.

Armed with a megaphone, Conor O’Dwyer was protesting the court’s failure to compensate him for the expenses he accumulated over the years when he was the witness and victim in an assault case brought against two developers in 2008.

According to O’Dwyer’s lawyer, Yiannos Georgiades, O’Dwyer was only offered €1,000 as compensation for his numerous journeys to Cyprus from the UK at the time. He also had to pay for his own accommodation, as well as his family’s.

“Conor has been protesting for days outside the Attorney-general’s office,” Georgiades told Cyprus Mail. “Today, he decided to step up his protest and moved to the main entrance of the building when police intervened and placed him under arrest, officially for blocking the attorney-general’s main entrance.”

Georgiades, who believes the arrest was a warning sign sent by the authorities, said O’Dwyer’s reasons to protest are absolutely justified.

“He spent thousands of euros travelling back and forth to Cyprus, as he had to appear in court several times. He eventually won the assault case, but nevertheless he was never properly compensated,” the attorney said.

Georgiades said he was also informed that the police are investigating Conor O’Dwyer for allegedly mocking the Supreme Court in 2019, when he was protesting outside the premises holding a placard reading “Kangaroo Court”.

Back in February, the Supreme Court rejected O’Dwyer’s defamation appeal. He had appealed the case filed by developer Christoforos Karayiannas and Son Ltd accusing him of breach of contract and of defamation.

The Supreme Court also reaffirmed the initial €60,000 in damages to the company, a national record, for calling the developers ‘liars’ on his blog.

Around 15 years ago, O’Dwyer sold his house in the UK when he decided to buy property in Cyprus.

According to O’Dwyer, after having already paid €113,000 for the property in the Famagusta area, the developer decided to sell his house to another British family at a higher price.

He was then forced to rent a flat in London and undergo a lengthy legal battle with the developers.

Georgiades said O’Dwyer has no intention of stopping his fight for justice and confirmed that last week he filed a case against Cyprus in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

4 COMMENTS

  1. I admire the guy’s tenacity. It’s been like a life-sentence so far, and the impact on his family must have been huge. His children have had the lessons of all time – far more than they can ever expect from schooling – this is real life – and an extreme example of what can (and does) go wrong.

    On the issue of “you must expect”. No. This is exactly how corruption breeds more corruption. The more you accept the status quo – the more the status quo will prevail.

    Hindsight is wonderful. The E.U’s legal system of regulating member states has been shown to be woefully inept and inadequate. An example of just how much being the fact it took a Qatar-based media outlet to highlight the ‘golden passports’ saga – when any number of European media and regulatory bodies have had decades to step in and highlight this (and many other) issues.

    Cyprus corruption is overt, whereas in many other countries it’s covert. Corruption though is corruption – period. All of it needs pushing back on. For inspiration, google ‘Pastor Martin Niemöller’.

  2. If you buy in Cyprus you must expect to suffer from corruption, fraud, construction and planning rip-offs and more. The only defence is to check everything with people who know (one of them runs this site), take nothing at face value and believe nothing you are told, except maybe by a top class lawyer who has nothing to do with the organisation or person you are buying from. That means never use the “free” lawyer you are offered.

    Conor O’Dwyer’s case is a lesson to all expats from anywhere, but particularly the UK. If you do make a mistake and lose property or money, don’t expect any help and don’t fight against Cypriots. Even if you have right on your side, you will most likely lose the fight and more money.

    When victims and their sympathisers start using sentences beginning with ‘Surely…” or ‘It goes with saying….” or ‘Obviously….” then trouble is coming because they are generally applying UK life experiences and expectations to their situation in Cyprus and that is a big mistake. One of the biggest mistakes is the one I made.

    I flew from Gatwick to Cyprus and bought a large apartment in the first week of May, 2004: that’s the week Cyprus joined the EU. I said to myself, “Obviously, all the bad stuff will have to stop, because EU standards and regulations will all apply to Cyprus now and they will be policed by the EU”. Events have proved that nothing could be further from the truth.

  3. Regrettably, I can’t say I’m surprised at this latest turn of events. I have tracked Conor’s long saga from the very start and have written frequently in the public domain on the multiple issues involved (including newspapers, this website, and even a case study on Conor’s treatment in a book chapter on immovable property fraud). Despite the strong merits of his case(s), he is unlikely to win in Cyprus in any direct sense the justice he seeks and deserves – because the system is corrupt. However, indirectly, by keeping the pot boiling for what is now well beyond a decade and suffering interminably at the hands of the Cyprus state and establishment, he continues to show the world a harsh reality about Cyprus society, governance, and justice. If a few thousand potential investors, whether individuals or corporates, are deterred from putting money into Cyprus i.e. a few hundred million Euros in total, he will have achieved a measure of justice, albeit indirect.

    Like many other similar immovable property cases in Cyprus, Conor’s overall case is as symptomatic of the fraud and corruption in Cyprus as is the ‘recent’ passports-for-cash scandal, and the list of public authority scandals for which a few ‘big shots’ did finally get their just desserts with lengthy jail terms e.g. the EAC Pension Fund Dromolaxia land scandal, and the Paphos Sewarage Board contracts scandal. However, the problem has spread way beyond petty corruption and even grand corruption and now envelopes the very being of the state, the legislature, the executive, the establishment, and companies. A ‘What can we get away with?’ amoral calculation is the starting point of policies, projects and courses of action, supported by whatever connivance with other corrupt or corruptible functions or individuals is thought convenient. It’s called ‘sovereign corruption’: a situation in a country where the scale of state-inspired corruption of all kinds (petty, grand, corrupted spirit) and its tentacles is vast and all-pervasive throughout society.

  4. Conor O’Dwyer case from start to finish as been a disgrace, where is the help from the EU, they must be aware of his case. My family have been duped in buying a property in Cyprus 2008 what a mistake, liars, corruption and conned by developers, solicitors, agent and officials alike.

    To date NO justice, my advice to potential buyers is sit back and do your homework, read previous reviews and peoples life experience before buying in Cyprus.

    BUYER BEWARE! No justice for the little people. We hope CONOR gets his JUSTICE in Cyprus. The EU needs to do more and fight Conor’s case, remember Cyprus is a EU member.

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