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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 98-09-25

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Friday, September 25, 1998

'Conspirators' have a hit list

THE CORRUPTION allegation continued to provide the papers with news fodder, although the Cyprus problem also re-appeared on the front pages.

Machi ran a rather dubious lead story, suggesting that "political conspirators" had compiled a "hit-list" of politicians who had worked for the re-election President Clerides. The first name on the list was that of Interior Minister Dinos Michaelides.

The others on the 'hit-list' were the Permanent Secretary of the Interior Ministry Thanos Michael, the surgeon Dr Eleni Theocharous, Diko deputy Katerina Pantelidou, the President of the Paphos Chamber of Commerce Theodoros Aristodemou and 10 public servants.

The conspirators, whose spokesman was Christos Pourgourides, included two Disy members, two Diko officials and a Nicosia lawyer, the paper claimed.

Haravghi claimed that the government was panic-stricken by the allegations. Its confusion was highlighted by the inability to set in motion the correct legal procedures for a speedy, full and objective investigation of the allegations.

The government, in an effort to avoid its political responsibilities, had chosen "time-consuming" procedures that left open the danger of a cover-up. It quoted senior counsel Akis Papasavvas as saying that the government had not fulfilled its political obligation to suspend Michaelides from his post and appoint an independent criminal investigator.

Alithia reported that Michaelides was to submit a 14-page document, answering all Pourgourides' allegations, to presidential under-secretary Pantelis Kouros yesterday. He was also expected to issue a written statement for the press.

Simerini, citing a Turkish press report claiming that Turkish politicians had links with the mafia, claimed that the occupied north had been turned into a protectorate of the mafia. The north was used for money laundering, drug trafficking and gun running.

It said that the pact for economic integration of the north and Turkey was being used by the mafia criminals for their transactions with the Middle East and Russia. Offshore companies operating in the north were all involved in illegal activities, it said.

Phileleftheros revealed what Turkish Prime Mesut Yilmaz had told Greece's former Prime Minister Constantine Mitsotakis during their meeting in Istanbul on Sunday. According to the report, Yilmaz, who had shown little interest in the Cyprus problem, said he opposed Rauf Denktash's proposal for a confederation because he was in favour of the partition of the island.

He ruled out the possibility of a change in Turkey's stance as regards its conditions for a Cyprus settlement as well as the resumption of negotiations before the Turkish elections. He also warned that the missile deployment would pose a real danger, if there was no "positive development" soon.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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