NICOSIA – Cyprus’ Attorney-General Costas Clerides said an investigation into the country’s economic crisis will take years and forces he wouldn’t name are trying to block it.
Noting public criticism of delays, Clerides said critics are trying to get him removed to prevent names and details from coming out.
Cyprus in 2013 asked for a 10-billion euro ($11.11 billion) bailout from international lenders and then confiscated 47.5 percent of bank accounts over 100,000 euros ($111,114) as part of attached harsh measures, including austerity.
There were reports that some people, warned of capital controls and confiscations, quietly and quickly moved their money out of the country.
Speaking on a news show on private television Antennat, Clerides said he had evidence to back his claims, but wouldn’t produce it.
“There have been incidents where obvious attempts to impede our efforts aimed at eroding the credibility of the legal service, or the attorney-general personally,” he said.
“I think it’s time certain things were said, but let’s leave it at that. I only mention this to demonstrate one thing: that I am fully aware of what is happening, and as a warning that such attempts are futile.”
He said that some prosecutions will soon be filed. “But I am not among those who like to announce cases due for court in advance,” he said.
“Not only for the obvious reasons, but also for the sake of the people involved, who could be identified in the process,” he said.
It’s common in Greece and Cyprus for conspiracy theories and charges to spring up around scandals only to be unfounded and with no prosecutions from those bringing them.
Critics on Cyprus ask why Greek financier Andreas Vgenopoulos – formerly the boss of now-defunct Laiki Bank – hasn’t been pressed for answers on the bank’s collapse.