Investigative Committee: Half of the naturalizations of investors are illegal (VIDEO)
The interim report, which consists of 515 pages, now about 3.500 thousand pages - annexes, was delivered today, by the President and the members of the Committee to the Attorney General, George Savvidis
A total of 2478 exceptional naturalizations for the years 2007 to 2016 and 417 exceptional high-risk naturalizations by 2020 are covered in the interim report of the Research Committee on the exceptional naturalizations of foreign investors and entrepreneurs, with its President, Myronas Nikolatos, to state that in the Commission's view 51,81% of all exceptional naturalizations took place in excess of the empowering law.
The interim report, which consists of 515 pages, now about 3.500 thousand pages - annexes, was delivered today by the Chairman and members of the Committee to the Attorney General, George Savvidis, who stated that the report will be thoroughly studied by the Legal Service, emphasizing that "our purpose should not be any possible criminal cases to be taken to a people's court, but to the criminal court. That is where the guilt of those involved will be judged. "
Mr. Nikolatos said, during the delivery of the report, to the offices of the Legal Service, that after a painstaking work that lasted seven months, they handed over today to the Attorney General the interim report of the Investigative Committee, which consists of 515 pages, now about 3.500 thousands of pages - annexes, noting that the annexes will be published with their final conclusion in about a month and a half.
Mr. Nikolatos stated that “the interim report covers all three parts of our mandate, ie 1) if there are illegalities and irregularities in the operation of the Cyprus Investment Program from 2007 to 17/8/2020 2) if there are possible responsibilities for illegalities and irregularities and 3) the Commission's suggestions for considering the revocation of some naturalizations ".
He noted that the Investigative Committee does not have the power to impose criminal or other responsibilities, but makes findings, conclusions and suggestions.
According to Mr. Nikolatos, “to date, the Commission has examined almost all exceptional naturalizations for the aforementioned period. The interim report, however, covers 2478 exceptional naturalizations for the years 2007 to 2016 and 417 exceptional high-risk naturalizations until 2020 ”.
The interim report provides statistics on illegal naturalizations, ie those which the Commission considers to have been carried out in excess of the law, which is 51,81% of the total, as well as those within the correct legal framework, but do not meet some criteria and conditions that were in force at the material time.
The interim report shall indicate any criminal, disciplinary or administrative liability which may be investigated by the competent authorities.
The Commission is making recommendations to consider the deprivation of citizenship in a few dozen cases.
Mr. Nikolatos stated that “it can be modestly said that the Research Committee operated independently and without being influenced by external factors. "Aware of the sensitivity of the Cypriot society for the investigated issue, the Commission tried to be impartial, objective and fair", he underlined.
It operated, he continued, “with transparency and respect for the principles of natural justice and above all the rule of law. "All the members of the Commission worked hard and conscientiously."
He added that "there were some differences of opinion, which were discussed and decisions were taken unanimously or by majority. "In cases where a member had a strong opinion, different from the opinion of the others, he recorded his minority position in the interim report", he explained.
Mr. Nikolatos said that "the Commission's collaborators also worked hard and conscientiously", whom he thanked
He said that "the interim report delayed its preparation and delivery mainly due to the large volume of work, but also unforeseen organizational difficulties, in the midst of the pandemic."
Mr. Nikolatos assured the Attorney General that "the interim report of the Investigative Committee was prepared without fear and passion and without favor or prejudice for anyone."
For his part, Mr. Savvidis said that the report will be thoroughly studied by the Legal Service and will be published later as his commitment, emphasizing that "our purpose should not be any possible criminal cases to lead to a public court, but in the criminal court. That is where the guilt of those involved will be judged. "
According to Mr. Savvidis, from the interim report that will be made public, those data that cannot be made public first will be deleted, for the purpose of protecting the investigations that may be ordered if the study of the interim report reveals the possible commission of criminal and secondly, for the purpose of protecting personal data.
"The above parameters are very important to ensure. I recognize the public interest aroused by the Interim Report of the Research Committee. Our purpose, however, should not be for any possible criminal cases to be brought to a people's court, but to the criminal court. "That is where the guilt of those involved will be judged", said Mr. Savvidis.
He added that "in order to achieve this and to reach any convictions, the public interest requires the protection of the investigation process and the protection of information. "Because it is one thing to give public information that we must and must, where we are allowed, to give to the citizen, and it is another thing to publish aspects of cases that may affect the course of police investigations."
The Attorney General stated that “excessive publicity in some matters, before a suspect is brought to court, can legally create a problem in the outcome of the case. Our actions take this very seriously. However, it is also my warm request to everyone and I expect everyone to take the above seriously. "Police investigations should not be affected in any way."
The Attorney General thanked Mr. Nikolatos, and the members of the Committee, Pavlos Ioannou, Kyriakos Kyriakou and Dimitra Kalogirou, for the very serious work they have done so far, based on the terms of reference that govern the work that this Committee has undertaken to carry out. complete.
He reminded that based on the terms of reference of the Research Committee, its final conclusion should be delivered to me by June 6, 2021 at the latest and wished the President and the members of the Committee good work in continuing and completing the difficult and serious work that took over.