Cyprus to probe state prosecutor’s leaked emails to Russia
NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus’ government on Wednesday appointed a top civil servant to probe leaked emails that have raised concerns they may have influenced ongoing court cases involving Russia.
Deputy government spokesman Viktoras Papadopoulos said the island nation’s customs department chief will head the disciplinary probe targeting senior state prosecutor Eleni Loizidou. The investigation is expected to be concluded within 60 days.
“The government has nothing to say because it’s understood it cannot comment while an investigation is underway,” Papadopoulos told reporters.
The appointment of an investigator was requested by Attorney General Costas Clerides, who red-flagged the leaked emails on Monday a day after they appeared in Cypriot media.
He said in a statement that Loizidou’s emails to Russian law officials may have gone too far in how much information they contained on cases where Russian authorities had asked for Cyprus’ help.
Cypriot media outlets published excerpts of emails from Loizidou’s private account detailing her communication with Russian officials on cases being heard by Cypriot courts involving Russian nationals.
Clerides said the leaks raised questions over how Loizidou used a private email account to pass on confidential information.
He said police would launch a separate, criminal probe into how the senior prosecutor’s account was hacked and the contents published.
Police spokesman Andreas Angelides told the state-run Cyprus News Agency that police investigators could expand their hacking probe abroad if deemed necessary.
Loizidou has already been removed from the fugitives’ extradition department where she was serving.
Clerides said Wednesday that he has asked the Public Service Commission to look into whether Loizidou should be suspended until the disciplinary probe is complete.