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Interim report of Inquiry Committee on citizenship by investment programme

28/04/2021 09:08

Attorney General of the Republic of Cyprus, George Savvides publicised on Tuesday the interim report of the Inquiry Committee, appointed to look into a citizenship by investment programme in Cyprus.

The published interim report deletes elements which cannot be made public, for the purpose of protecting possible criminal investigations which may be ordered and the rights of potentially accused persons and for the purposes of complying with European Union law for the protection of personal data.

The report is being evaluated by the Chief Prosecutor and legal officers of the Criminal Department in order to forward it to the Police for further police investigations.

According to the interim report, the Committee found that 51.81% of all exceptional naturalizations totalled 6,779 took place exceeding the enabling law.

The Inquiry Committee found that two Ministers and the President did not follow the principle of impartiality when making decisions in the Cabinet on granting exceptional naturalization. It is looking into the possibility of abuse of power by former President of Cyprus Parliament and whether money received by the Archbishop of Cyprus in the context of the program was a product of money laundering.

The responsibilities of the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Finance, the Parliament and service providers are also under scrutiny.

The Committee also recommends for 44 investors the possibility of deprivation of citizenship to be examined and for another 22 investors the possibility of deprivation of their naturalization to be considered.

The four-member committee was sworn in, in September 2020 with a mandate of looking into all citizenships granted between 2007 and 2020 as part of a state scheme to attract investment.

It was asked to investigate whether all laws, criteria and conditions in force at the time had been applied when the citizenships were granted between 2007 and August 17, 2020 with an initial timeline for completing its report of three months.

It is comprised by its president former supreme court president Myron Nicolatos Former Supreme Court judge Costas Pambalis, Deputy Auditor-General Kyriacos Kyriacou and Financial Ombudsman Pavlos Ioannou.