North Cyprus Blog: Police ease property checks?
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24 March 2007

Police ease property checks?

Are they admitting something here?

By Fanos Droushiotis

Police in the south were ordered to ease investigations and prosecutions in the North regarding properties.

It was reported that the top legal chief in Cyprus has instructed police to investigate “sparingly” claims of exploitation of Greek Cypriot properties in the north. Greek Cypriot Attorney-general Petros Clerides sent a letter to the police force and legal services, telling them to pursue such cases only “in very special circumstances chosen using strict criteria”. It was also reported that the force had received such instructions from the legal chief. The police officer responsible then relayed these instructions to the House Refugee Committee. Clerides, however, was unavailable for comment. The decision to ease off cases of Greek Cypriot property exploitation comes as a surprise, given the general push among policy-makers and politicians for Greek Cypriots to seek legal remedies against occupants of their land either locally or in the European Court of Human Rights.

The Greek Cypriot newspaper Politis claims the sudden about-turn has come about as a result of the thousands of applications made by Greek Cypriot refuges to the European Court, which resulted in the inundated court seeking ways to legitimate the Compensation Commission in the north. This, plus the result of the Orams’ case in the UK, which went their way, has led the Greek Cypriot Attorney-general to limit the number of prosecutions in Greek Cypriot courts. In the last two years, 22 Greek Cypriot land owners have made charges against illegal exploitation of their lands in the north. From those, only one has resulted in a criminal prosecution against a Turkish Cypriot architect, while two cases of illegal construction in Klepini are still under investigation by the police. The remainder have been filed, under the instructions of the Attorney-general, said the paper. According to Politis, Clerides said it was a serious matter of public interest that dictated limiting the launch of criminal proceedings to very specific cases, using strict criteria that could be applied equally in all cases. The police now await further instruction from the Attorney-general on how to deal with evidence and documents found relating to the exploitation of Greek Cypriot properties, either at crossing points or other legal points of entry to the island, the paper added.

Doesnt it sound like there is something strange about the entire order and the method by which the Greek Cypriot Administration is dealing with the matter, or are they admitting things here?


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