Cyprus High Court Denies Colluding With Lawyers

(AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)

NICOSIA – Cyprus’ Supreme Court said it has not given favorable rulings to lawyers that the Attorney-General’s brother has charged, nor any incestuous relationship of family and legal ties, calling the claims a “blatant attack” on the judicial system.

The court said Jan. 14 that allegations by veteran lawyer Nicos Clerides, who comes from a long line of attorneys including the late President Glafcos Clerides, give a “skewed picture” that denigrates the judicial system.

The court said that it’s particularly careful to avoid conflict of interest, and bemoaned “blind, belligerent rhetoric” that erodes public trust. It called on lawyers and judges to push back after Clerides said most judges in major cases involving Cyprus’ largest bank had either worked at or had relatives working at a firm that represented clients in those cases. The firm, Chrysafinis and Polyviou (C&P) said the allegations were an attempt to tarnish the firm’s name and the name of the “remarkable lawyers” working for it who “happen to be related” with Supreme Court members, the Cyprus Mail reported.

“Nicos Clerides’ claims are unfounded, in bad faith, and ultimately, slanderous and fully unacceptable,” the C&P statement said, adding that his letter to the Bar Association was “full of inaccuracies (not specified) and innuendos and clearly promotes ulterior objectives”.

“We note that employment of judges’ relatives by law firms is commonplace, not only in Cyprus but also abroad, and our office is just one of the law firms employing relatives of the judiciary now and in the past,” the statement also said.

(Material from the Associated Press was used in this report)