Lawyer Christos Clerides, President of the Cyprus Bar Association, said that legal firms that managed cases of naturalization related to the investment program of the Republic of Cyprus did not carry out a full investigation into their clients.
He explained that legal firms dealing with the investment for citizenship programs must know the history of their clients, whether they are politically exposed persons, whether they are convicted or wanted in other countries and so forth. They must also check the legality of the investment funds.
Regarding these two aspects, all legal firms mentioned in the Kalogirou report, the first report of the Auditor General, the Nikolatou report and the last report of the Auditor General, that have been investigated for managing investment for citizenship programs, did not carry out detailed checks and as a result there were convictions and fines.
More investigations have been carried out regarding the said programs or are in progress and asked whether he is optimistic about the outcome of the investigations, Christos Clerides expressed the conviction that “the guilty parties will be found before the relevant bodies and will be asked to pay if a violation has taken place.”