The colonel's case with cocaine smells like a cover

"What were the reasons for suspending the criminal prosecution of this officer?"

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The director general of the Ministry of Defense, Andreas Loukas, was not able yesterday to inform the deputies of the Audit Committee about the reasons for the suspension of the criminal prosecution of a senior officer of the Hellenic Armed Forces, who was arrested for possession of a small amount of cocaine and more than 50 vials of anabolic steroids. Instead of being prosecuted, the officer resigned with the blessing of the Legal Service, thus securing all his pension rights.

He left the gate with the rank of colonel, as he was awarded an honorary rank for his contribution to the army! Such as It was revealed yesterday before the Parliamentary Audit Committee, the suspension of the criminal prosecution of the said officer was negotiated with his lawyers first by the former Attorney General, Costas Clerides, and then by the Assistant Attorney General, Savvas Angelidis, who, as implemented the decision taken by Mr. Clerides.

No excuse…

DISY MP, Rita Superman, who retired from the Police Corps as a senior officer, was reasonably asked yesterday in the Audit Committee What were the reasons for the suspension of the criminal prosecution of the officer, who, admittedly, admitted in a statement to the Drug Enforcement Service that the small amount of cocaine found in his home is for his own use, as well as anabolic steroids. The director general of the Ministry of Defense, Andreas Loukas, referred Ms. Superman to the Legal Service. "Neither do we, as the Ministry of Defense, know why the case was closed. You should ask the Legal Service ", answered Mr. Loukas. In her own speech, AKEL MP Irini Charalambidou stated that YKAN disagreed with the suspension of the criminal prosecution of the said officer. "Immediately after his arrest and admission that he is a drug user, he should be stopped by the EF and at the same time prosecuted for possession of anabolic substances and drugs", said Ms. Charalambidou, complaining to the Legal Service that she suspended the criminal prosecution of the officer in question in order not to lose his retirement benefits. "Imagine what he did to the soldiers when he was in possession of cocaine", commented the chairman of the Audit Committee, Zacharias Koulias. "It would be a good idea for him to be released on the same day he was arrested and for his criminal prosecution to continue.", commented the director general of the Ministry of Defense.

The arrest and K. Clerides

The officer in question, now 50 years old, from Nicosia, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel when he was arrested by YKAN on 7/8/2018 to have in his home 51 vials and two tablets containing anabolic substances, as well as cocaine weighing 1,3 , 14 grams. Immediately after his arrest, he submitted his resignation from the Armed Forces, which was not accepted by the former Minister of Defense, Mr. Savvas Angelidis, as the criminal investigation of the matter was pending and he made him available. As recorded in the report of the Audit Office, on 7/2020/XNUMX, the Assistant Attorney General. Mr. Savvas Angelidis, who at the time of the above events was the Minister of Defense, suspended the criminal prosecution of this officer following a relevant request submitted by the officer of the officer, according to which in case of suspension of criminal prosecution the accused will be voluntarily from the ranks of EF. Subsequently, the Council of Ministers, based on the above developments, decided to approve the resignation request of the officer in question by the Armed Forces. The report of the Audit Service does not mention anywhere the involvement of the former Attorney General Mr. Costas Clerides in the case, except for Savvas Angelidis. However, at yesterday's meeting of the Audit Committee, the Auditor General, Odysseas Michailidis, also referred to the involvement of Mr. Clerides, who allegedly came to an oral agreement with the lawyer of the said officer and was implemented by Savvas Angelidis.

He was promoted with a negative evaluation

A few months before his arrest, the officer was promoted by the Supreme Crisis Council despite his negative evaluation. Specifically, the evaluation report by his immediate superior, which was also signed by the then head of the GEEF as First Opinion, states, among other things, negative comments: "This is an officer who acts only on the basis of his personal interests and ambitions. ", showing great arrogance and disobedience for the orders concerning his service to the Armed Forces, and who refused to assume the duties of unit commander, receiving continuous sick leave as soon as he was informed of his appointment as commander". As it turned out, the unfavorable assessment was not taken into account with the argument that the Chief of Staff left and the successor Chief, due to a gap in the legislation, could not consider the appeal of the said officer against his negative assessment. Thus, his negative evaluation was set aside and was not taken into account in his judgment for promotion.

And an honorary degree

Following the agreement reached between the officer's lawyers and the Legal Service to suspend his criminal prosecution, he voluntarily resigned from the EF and received, in fact, an honorary degree. That is, he was demobilized in the rank of colonel. Responding to the MPs' criticisms, the director general of the Ministry of Defense explained that the Ministry of Defense had no other choice, as according to the current legislation, the awarding of an honorary degree to an officer whose resignation request is approved by a decision of the Council of Ministers is mandatory. In this case, given the above approval of the Council of Ministers, the awarding of an honorary degree to the officer in question was inevitable.

The "eternal" student and the backs

The Director General of the Ministry of Defense, Andreas Loukas, was asked by members of the Audit Committee about the unprecedented case of state favor on a Cypriot student in the medical department of the Military School of Officers, who graduated in 2014 instead of 2009, after successive extensions . According to Mr. Loukas, from the administrative examination of the service files it was found that the extensions to the said student were granted by the Ministers of Defense between the years 2009 and 2014. It should be noted that during the mentioned period the Ministers of Defense were Costas Papakostas, Dimitris Iliadis, Fotis Fotiou, Tassos Mitsopoulos, Socrates Hasikos and Christoforos Fokaidis. Today, this student is a military doctor, with Ms. Charalambidou requesting control of his professional competence. Mr. Loukas told the deputies that the Ministry agrees with the recommendation of the Audit Office and assures that during the calculation of his pensionable years of service, the additional years of study at the school will not be taken into account, as, as he explained, his non-graduation in the planned time was not due to medical reasons.

The new Ministry in Lakatamia

As the General Director of the Ministry of Defense revealed yesterday in Parliament, the procedures for the construction of buildings that will house the Ministry of Defense and the GEEF, on state land in the Lakatamia area, where the base of the air force of the Hellenic Air Force used to be, are underway. Today, the Ministry of Defense and the GEEF are housed in a rented building in Strovolos, with the rent amounting to € 800.000 per year.