The Bar Association has investigated up to 25 large legal firms so far and fined 10 of them after they were named in various reports into the island’s controversial and now scrapped citizenship by investment scheme.
Association chairman Christos Clerides also said that another 10 legal firms are currently under investigation as well. And that €70,000 in fines have already been paid in connection with ‘golden’ passports, Philenews reported on Wednesday.
Lawyers, he added, may be liable for disciplinary and perhaps even criminal offences related to the passport scheme – citing the Auditor General’s report released last week.
The association will decide whether it will refer lawyers to the disciplinary council, which is the only authority able to revoke their licences, this week.
The assoication will also investigate to what extent the ethics rules were adhered to, such as the requirement for the lawyer to know their client.
And whether there were violations of EU laws – specifically of money laundering.
The association has asked the names of the lawyers from the Auditor General and that the whole case should be finalised by December, Clerides also said.