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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 98-09-22

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Tuesday, September 22, 1998

Corruption allegations fly

THE EXCHANGE of accusations sparked by Friday's allegations against the Minister of Interior, Dinos Michaelides, by Disy deputy Christos Pourgourides were given wide coverage in yesterday's papers.

Phileleftheros predicted that what had begun as a duel between Michaelides and Pourgourides was likely to develop into a much wider political confrontation. If and when this happened, the consequences would be serious and far-reaching, affecting the entire political scene.

Apart from his allegations against the minister, Pourgourides had opened another can of worms with his claim that the state had to pay a bill for road construction that had been overpriced to the tune of four million pounds. These allegations implicated the construction company, public servants and another minister.

Alithia reported that Spyros Kyprianou had dismissed claims that he had amassed a huge personal fortune as an attempt to destroy his name. Kyprianou had entered the equation after Michaelides accused him of being the instigator of attempts to destroy him.

Michaelides had issued a clear warning to Kyprianou to stop, and this, according to Diko sources, had greatly worried the House President. The paper also published excerpts of a confidential letter sent by Michaelides to Kyprianou, which closed with the warning that the instigator of the allegations could end up in even deeper trouble than he causes his victim.

Simerini reported Pourgourides' latest allegations, claiming that Michaelides had very close ties with a Lebanese arms dealer. The minister would go to London in the arms dealer's private jet to play at the casino. Michaelides was also close to an Arab arms dealer who lived in Cyprus and had supplied Arab countries with the same Russian tanks purchased by Cyprus.

Pourgourides, who claimed he had received countless telephone calls with more information about the minister's activities, said he was investigating reports that Michaelides had gone to Switzerland to arrange for his son to become the Cyprus representative of a Swiss company.

Haravghi reported that Friday would be of critical importance for the future handling of the Cyprus problem. On this day, President Clerides would address the UN General Assembly and also meet the UN Secretary- General Kofi Annan.

According to diplomatic sources, a new UN initiative led by special envoy Diego Cordovez is being prepared. The initiative would focus attention on security issues, it said.

To Tharros reported that Greek forces - navy, air force and army - would participate in this year's Nikiforos military exercise. Greek fighter jets would land at Paphos air base during the exercise, the paper said.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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