Supreme Court strikes down telecommunications data decree by Giovani, Antoniou

In a new twist on Al Jazeera’s corruption exposure of the island’s now abolished citizenship for investment scheme, the Supreme Court struck down the decree on the telecommunications data of two prime suspects.

In particular those of the former opposition deputy for Akel Christakis Giovani and the director of his development group Antonis Antoniou.

It is now uncertain whether the recovered computer and other data should be returned to the two men or whether this evidence can be used during the trial.

The two were filmed offering help to a fictional Chinese businessman with a criminal record to gain citizenship through the island’s controversial scheme.

Last October, a number of electronic devices, mobile phones, computers and USB keys were confiscated by the police after a search.

Their lawyers argued that the publication of the relevant decree was based on legal technicalities.

Hundreds of people demonstrated last year against corruption following Al Jazeera’s investigation implicating senior officials, including Giovani but also then House Speaker Demetris Syllouirs, in the sale of passports.

The exposure came after Al Jazeera previously published a leak of nearly 1,500 passport applications in Cyprus, which showed the country was selling passports to, among others, convicted felons and people wanted by Interpol.