The right of silence was chosen by Chr. Tziovanis before the Naturalization Research
The questions asked by the Investigative Committee - What his lawyer said in statements
With Christakis Tziovanis exercising his right to remain silent and not answering questions, citing the ongoing criminal investigation, the hearing of the Investigative Committee on the exceptional naturalization of investors was completed, before which the former AKEL MP appeared.
The whole process lasted almost ten minutes with Mr. Giovannis, accompanied by his lawyer Antonis Dimitriou, reading a statement rejecting the content of the video of the Al Jazeera network, saying that it was taken "illegally processed and edited" and that "selective and fragmentary references" are contained.
In his statement to the Commission, Mr Giovanni expressed his respect for the members and the work carried out by the Commission, adding that "Giovani Developers Ltd, of the Giovani Group of Companies, provided only one application per "An exception to naturalization, in which, as far as we know, there was no illegality or irregularity."
"Regarding the video published by the Al Jazeera news network in October 2020, reserving all my legal rights and rejecting its content, my position is that it was taken illegally and in violation of the rights of the persons appearing in it, it is processed "and edited, containing fragmentary and selective reports, in order to mislead the viewer by creating false impressions and to hurt the image of the Republic of Cyprus", said Mr. Tziovanis.
He further added that "there was no specific or existing investor who was or could be affected by any of the statements or actions of anyone".
He also stated that "what I have said above concerning the Giovani group of companies and myself, which are related to issues being investigated by your Commission, has been under investigation since October 2020" and concluded: "Following legal advice, I have decide to exercise before you the inalienable constitutional right to silence ".
Responding to the witness, the Chairman of the Commission, Myronas Nikolatos, stated that the right of silence for the accused and the suspects is fully respected as it is guaranteed in the Constitution, in the laws and in the European Convention on Human Rights.
"The Commission of Inquiry is not a criminal court and you are neither suspect nor prosecuted, but your right not to answer questions that tend to incriminate you, which you consider as such, is enshrined in the Law on Investigative Committees, Chapter 44, Article 7 E) ", he said.
However, Mr. Nikolatos submitted the questions that have been prepared, saying that if the witness wishes, he is entitled not to answer.
The questions raised concerned when Mr. Tziovanis was elected Member of Parliament, whether he participated in debates in Parliament on the Cyprus Investment Program, whether Parliament was informed in time about the naturalization program and what procedure was followed and whether there were any interventions. of KEP.
The witness was also asked if he was related to provider companies or contractors who had an interest or profit from the KEP, whether he personally had any financial or other benefit from the KEP, whether he ever pressured anyone to approve any approval under exception of naturalization to any civil servant or official.
Mr Nikolatos also said the commission would ask the witness to "comment on the well-known Al Jazeera video and explain to the Commission of Inquiry what your role was in that case".
"We state that you do not want to answer any question," he said.
Answering, Mr. Giovannis said that he has clarified that he would not answer the questions because a criminal investigation is underway. "Respect for the Commission, but you realize that it can pose a risk to any other criminal development that exists," he said.
After all, after the witness chose not to answer questions, the Assistants also stated that they were not going to ask questions.
Meanwhile, in statements after the end of the hearing, Mr. Giovanni's lawyer claimed that his client had been "slandered" by society.
"I think he has already been tried and convicted. Therefore, whether he is referred to the Court and acquitted, or not referred at all, has now been condemned by the whole of Cyprus. "Therefore, any development no longer matters," he said.
Referring to the interim conclusion of the Commission, Mr. Dimitriou claimed that "here in writing there is a multi-page report which is clear that it shows responsibilities and even criminal. You journalists yourself have raised tow scandals and one wonders and we should be concerned as citizens why tomorrow morning they do not enter with a search warrant in three large law firms connected with politicians, why they did not enter any large accounting office, you heard them enter ; »
Mr. Dimitriou hastened to clarify that this is not a form either to the Legal Service or to the Police, while when asked who is responsible for this, he limited himself to stating that "we, the citizens, are responsible".