Friday, October 26, 2007

The Cypriot government is amazing.

This is one of the reasons I am happy to be a Cypriot.

Defence kickbacks law ‘revoked by mistake’
By Jacqueline Theodoulou

A LAW penalising state officials for receiving kickbacks during arm deals was accidentally revoked during 2002’s tax reform.

The House Defence Committee, which came across the error by chance last week, yesterday rushed to patch it up with a bill submitted by Chairman Yiannakis Omirou of EDEK.

Omirou later explained that from 1985 until 2002, there was a law which said it was a criminal offence, punishable with up to 10 years’ imprisonment, for any state official or employee who received commissions during the purchase of arms systems or other military equipment.

“Evidently due to an omission or oversight, during 2002’s tax reform, these orders were cancelled and they will come back in force with this bill,” he pointed out.

The committee is now awaiting a response by the Legal Services on whether bringing back the law would be on par with the European acquis communautaire.

Omirou told reporters that he was not aware of any incidents where kickbacks may have been received.

“When a law is implemented, it is not necessarily to send people to prison; laws aim at averting or preventing criminal offences,” he replied when asked if anyone had been prosecuted while the law was in force.

The committee unanimously agreed on bringing the law back.

DISY’s Socratis Hasikos said the law had come into force following the suggestion of former President Glafcos Clerides. “We all believed the law was still in force and eventually found out that this legislation does not apply any more,” he said after the meeting.

No comments: