NewsLocalCourt rejects request to ban circulation of "Mafia State" book

Court rejects request to ban circulation of “Mafia State” book

Nicosia District Court on December 23 rejected a request to ban Makarios Droushiotis’ “Mafia State” book from circulation.

The request was made by a cybersecurity expert who, in the book, is accused of having installed spyware on the author’s computer.

The complainant sued Droushiotis for libel and for violation of privacy, due to which he requested the book be banned from circulation, however, district judge Theodoros Theodorou deemed the request invalid.

Droushiotis’ lawyer argued that the facts mentioned in the book are substantiated by the results of a judicial investigation on the author’s computer carried out by a forensic laboratory in the Netherlands, as well as being a legitimate exercise of his freedom of expression.

The court decision was made public on Monday by Droushiotis who also noted that recently the European Court of Human Rights ruled that he was censured by the state in violation of the right to freedom of expression, for an article he wrote in Politis in 2005.

Droushiotis, a journalist, author and former presidential aide, published a series of books accusing the country’s political elite of widespread corruption, based on his experiences collaborating with President Anastasiades.

In his latest book “Mafia State” he highlights the use of illegal surveillance aimed at serving hidden agendas and personal interests of politicians and members of the government.

Interviewed by EURACTIV, Droushiotis said his phone and computer were hacked in 2018 when he started a project researching corruption in Cyprus, focusing on links between Anastasiades and Russian billionaire Dmitri Rybolovlev.

The government played down the claims made in the books as “unsupported accusations”.

Transparency Commissioner Haris Poyadjis has said that the allegations of corruption made against the President in the books will be investigated by a special independent team coming from abroad.

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National security used as justification for surveillance, says MEP after Cyprus visit

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