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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 98-09-11

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Friday, September 11, 1998

Bishop remains at centre stage

LIMASSOL Bishop Chrysanthos' business dealings dominated yesterday's front pages.

Some papers carried reports about the agreement between Chrysanthos and the government to annul the sale of land to the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC), while others focused on the Bishop's latest comments about his business dealings.

Haravghi reported that Chrysanthos had undertaken to return the money for the land sale to EAC and be given back the plot of land. The deal was reached after the intervention of President Clerides and Archbishop Chrysostomos.

As the amount for the sale would be returned to EAC, the government undertook not to investigate the transaction between the EAC board and the Bishopric until the next meeting of the Council of Ministers, the paper said.

Simerini reported that the Attorney-general, Alecos Markides, had ordered an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the EAC-Bishopric transaction in order to establish if a criminal offence had been committed.

The irregularities reported did not in themselves constitute criminal offences, said Markides. He had, however, worked out an investigation scheme so that all aspects of the case that could give rise to a criminal case would be examined.

Alithia focused on the comments by Chrysanthos, who had claimed that the brain behind all the deals to which his name had been linked, was his associate Nina Petros. He claimed that Ms Petros had set up all the financial schemes that had been reported.

Chrysanthos, who insisted that he had done nothing wrong and had received none of the money mentioned in reports, suggested that Petros had misled him and deceived him. This was the first time the Bishop had spoken openly about the allegations against him, the paper said.

Machi took a different view, saying that Chrysanthos' responses were far from convincing. This gave rise to the following suspicions: either he had acted illegally, or he had become involved in scams which he could not get out of.

According to the paper, the Bishop's "notorious associates" were working for foreign intelligence services whose objective was to undermine the standing of the Cyprus Church. In a CyBC interview he had avoided blaming his foreign associates for the scams, giving rise to suspicions that he is so tangled up with foreign secret services that he cannot escape.

Phileleftheros reported that the National Council had quietly agreed to the postponement, for technical reasons, of the deployment of the S-300 missiles until December.

According to the modified contract with the Russian supplier, for the missiles to be delivered in November, the government had to give the go ahead by next Tuesday. This was highly unlikely as the National Council had not reached a decision on the matter.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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