The Republic of Cyprus has informed the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) that it wishes to take part as a third party in the Court’s proceedings following a lawsuit filed by a Greek Cypriot company for property in the fenced city of Famagusta, as the lawyer of the applicant Achilleas Demetriades, told CNA.
At the same time, he said, the Republic informed the Court that they did not wish to intervene in the court’s proceedings concerning an application by two Greek Cypriots concerning their property in Cyprus’ occupied areas near Tymbou. The applicants complain of the protracted and ineffectiveness of the proceeding before the Immovable Property Commission in the occupied areas, as a result of which they have been unable to vindicate their property claim and access their home for a prolonged period of time.
Demetriades was informed by the ECHR on Friday of the decision of the Republic of Cyprus, in the two cases for which Turkey has requested and was given six weeks extension to submit its objections, until mid-December.
On his part, Attorney General Costas Clerides told CNA that Cyprus’ Law Office has expressed its views on whether or not the government would be involved in these processes, along with the opinions of foreign experts commonly used, and the government provided the relevant instructions transmitted to the ECHR.
As Demetriades said, the cases will judge the issue of EVKAF (a Muslim religious organisation in the occupied areas that manages properties) and the issue of property values which will be used as a basis for compensation for Greek Cypriot properties in the occupied areas.
For the decision of the Republic of Cyprus to participate in the proceedings in relation to Varohsa, Demetriades said that it was very encouraging. In this case, he said, in addition to the legal arguments EVKAF will also support the ownership certificates issued by the Cyprus Republic. In addition, he continued, the Cyprus Republic will also support the land registry’s estimates to determine the amount of compensation to be given to applicants for loss of use.
Demetriades expressed his disappointment on the decision of Cyprus Republic not to participate in the case concerning the properties in Tymbou, saying that he hopes that the Republic would explain “why there is a discrimination” between citizens from Varoshia and citizens from Nicosia.
Invited to comment on Demetriades views, the Attorney General said that “the Law Office has given its views on whether or not the government would be involved in these processes, along with the opinions of foreign experts, and the government provided the relevant instructions transmitted to the ECHR”.
“The Attorney General is a representative of the government in the ECHR. He is also her legal adviser, ” Clerides said, rejecting Demetriades claims for discriminations.
“Each case is examined and evaluated separately according to its own facts and legal circumstances,” concluded the Attorney General.
The Varosha case, which has to do with a company’s loss of use of its property located in the area that Turkey sealed off 45 years ago, became more complex as EVKAF, the directorate administrating Muslim pious foundations in Cyprus, claimed to have a stake in properties throughout Varosha. After these developments, the company took recourse to the ECHR.
At the same time, a declassified document from 1960 shows that Turkish Cypriot claims from the British colonial government, for compensation for the maladministration of vakuf property, stood almost at 4 mln pounds, with the Turkish Cypriot side acknowledging that “it would have been impossible for the [colonial] Government to restore” the properties EVKAF lost during British rule in Cyprus.
The final amount agreed with the Turkish Cypriot community, at the time Cyprus gained its independence, was eventually settled at 1.5 mln pounds, according to Appendix U of the Treaty establishing the Republic of Cyprus./ibna