It's been about two years since his video Al Jazeera shook the country to its foundations. It was the reason for the cancellation of the Cyprus Investment Program (CIP) and caused a storm of reactions, the result of which was the resignation of the then Speaker of the Parliament Dimitris Syllouris and the AKEL deputy Christakis Giovani. Months of investigations followed, leading to the registration of a criminal case in court over the Al Jazeera events. However, the content and object of the video was not what caused the anger and indignation, but the depiction of a Cypriot reality that has plagued society since the founding of the Republic and ever since. A scam that was set up, serving the few, the chosen, the powerful. In the video in question we saw what has been circulating for the last few years as information that it was happening behind closed doors.
The report of the "POLITIS" newspaper
The lawyer Andreas Pittatzis, who is currently one of his defendants Al Jazeera, he had taken some actions - he says all the necessary actions - and had denounced the journalists under cover a year before the publication, but it does not seem that he was listened to by the competent authorities. Her then supervisor Unit for Combating Cover-Up Crimes (MOKAS) - today he has retired - he had informed the lawyer that what he complained about did not fall within the Unit's remit, even giving the impression that there was ulterior motive in the complaint, i.e. that it was made after he realized that those who approached him on behalf of alleged "investors" were journalists .
Today, taking into account the specific documents and various other elements, the data is structured as follows:
- At 24/10/2019 when Pittatzis had the first meeting together with the alleged investors, he recorded in the registers of his office "a client came representing a foreigner who may be a fugitive".
- At 25/10/2019 (Friday), he used his mobile phone and recorded the journalists. On the same day, 25/10, he sent a message to another of the protagonists and informed him of his intention to collect information (fishing) in order to report them to the state services.
- At 26/10 on Saturday, he had the last meeting with them. Pittatzis was not at Giovanni's table, where Syllouris had been invited.
- At 29/10/2019, which was the first working day (since October 28 is a holiday), Pittatzis informs the Bar Association in the morning.
- The same day 29/10/2019 makes a complaint to MOKAS, as seen in the copy published by our newspaper (a record of the entire history and what was communicated between Pittatzis and the alleged investor representatives). In addition, Pittatzis informs MOKAS of the name and contact numbers of these persons.
- The same day 29/10, MOKAS sends a letter to Pittatzis informing him that his complaint had been accepted.
- Two days later, on 1/11/2019, MOKAS, judging perhaps as valid what Pittatzis had recorded in his letter, appoints an investigator and informs Pittatzis in a letter.
- A full year later, specifically on 21/09/2020, Pittatzis is informed in writing by Al Jazeera that those who had visited his office a year before were journalists. Dutifully, Pittatzis responds to Al Jazeera and informs them of the actions he had taken, but explains to them that he is prohibited from sharing the relevant documents with them and refers them to MOKAS.
- At 05/10/2020 and after MOKAS had been informed that they were journalists (a week before the publication of the video by Al Jazeera), it sends a letter to Pittatzis stating that: "Following the report you submitted to the Unit on 29/10/2019 and the recent telephone communication you had with our Unit, we wish to inform you that the matter does not fall within the Unit's competence" (photo 4). Pittatzis sent MOKAS a desperate message asking for permission to publicize his actions and complaint: “The reason I asked for your permission to make it public if and when needed is so that I don't see an office built with 50 years of hard work being dragged into the Coliseum of the Mass Media. If you don't want me to do it, then I won't do it". MOKAS replies to him that this (i.e. the publication of his documents and complaints) is not allowed because "constitutes a criminal offence".
Unbelievable footage of the material his controversial video was made from Al Jazeera, show a different image than the one finally displayed after stitching snapshots. What was invoked by MOKAS is that it did not fall within her remit. Also, that he did not give them any information that could be about suspicious transactions and that he simply gave them a name and the "attempt" made to offer services. However, the same legislation provides that lawyers are obliged to report attempts to MOKAS (Article 69(d) of Law 188(I)/2007).
In fact, in a manual published by herself MOKAS in 2018, i.e. a year before, instructions are given to controlled entities (among them lawyers), when they have suspicions, to conduct an investigation themselves, collect information and then submit complaints to the MOKAS (as Pittatzis claimed).
The lawyer Pittatzis, who was charged with the sins of the entire system that illegally issued "golden" passports with the scoop, after the case was registered against him, does not raise pre-trial issues. He does not agree with postponements. He insists that the case be tried so that the whole truth comes out. He does not seek, as he says, acquittal, but vindication.
Source: "POLITIS" newspaper, Kritonas Kapsalis