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    Ryan Air: Responds with threat of a lawsuit the law firm “Nikos Ch. Anastasiades & Associates”, Citizen retaliation with facts

    Citizen are accused, among other things, of making allegations that "artificially attempt to create false impressions and directly damage the prestige of our office and indirectly the person of Nicos Anastasiades".

    Citizen analysis and comments in last Sunday’s edition (24/10) on the conditions of Ryan Air’s expression of interest to buy Cyprus Airways, provoked the reaction of the law firm “Nikos Ch. Anastasiades & Associates of DEPE”.

    In a letter sent to Citizen the day before yesterday afternoon by the legal brand founded by Nicos Anastasiades, Citizen are called to withdraw what Citizen has made public about the whole issue and to apologize in writing. At the same time, there is a warning for taking legal action against the writer and the “Citizen”.

    Citizen are accused, among other things, of making allegations that “artificially attempt to create false impressions and directly damage the prestige of our office and indirectly the person of Nicos Anastasiades”.

    It is also alleged the – arbitrary in our view – position that Citizen argued that there was impersonation by lawyers of the office “Nikos Ch. Anastasiades & Associates of DEPE”.

    Citizen make it clear that Citizen have no intention of withdrawing what Citizen have recorded. In the analysis, in which Citizen have every right to record Citizen personal views, Citizen have not made any accusations. Citizen referred to the main facts of the case, the complaints of the time period and Citizen spoke of the shadows that were left (this is Citizen personal opinion).

    And all this is based on the special report of the Audit Office, which notes that the lawyer brand established by Nicos Anastasiades, “did not act correctly, just as it did not act at all when, in the meeting of October 31, 2014 with the Negotiating Committee, it considered it appropriate to make available to the law office of Mr. Sotiris Pittas two lawyers of the office ‘Nikos Ch. Anastasiades and partners’, who refrained from revealing their real employer”.

    The term “covert participation” used by the writer for two lawyers of the office at the meeting of Ryan Air with the Negotiating Committee of the C.R. for the sale of Cyprus Airways, has to do with the fact that their role was not revealed either, while the name they stated in writing does not clarify their identity.

    However, since Citizen do not limit themselves to general references, Citizen briefly list the order of events that were the subject of what we recorded in Sunday’s analysis/commentary:

    • On 3 September 2014, Ryan Air submitted (along with eight other companies) an offer for the purchase of Cyprus Airways, presenting as its legal advisor the law firm “Nicos Chr. Anastasiades & Partners, Cyprus”.
    • On September 21, 2014, Ryan Air’s agreement with the PD’s law firm of interests (his daughters Elsa and Ino have 50% of the shares) was allegedly formalized in order for it to represent the foreign-owned airline.
    • On 30 September 2014, the law firm withdrew from the legal representation of Ryan Air. As the President himself had made clear in an official way at the time, as soon as he realized that the office he had founded was involved in an attempt by a foreign investor to buy the KA, he gave relevant instructions for withdrawal. The representation was undertaken by a partner office with “Nicos Chr. Anastasiades & Partners, Cyprus”.
    • On October 8, 2014, Nicos Anastasiades had a meeting of a few minutes at the Presidential Palace with Ryanair CEO Michael O’ Leary.
    • On October 31, 2014, two lawyers of the law firm established by the President of the Republic, participated in a meeting of representatives of Ryan Air with the state’s negotiating team (Negotiation Committee) for the sale of Cyprus Airways, without their role and identity being distinct.
    • On January 26, 2015, the Audit Office’s report was made public stating: “At the meeting with Ryan Air (note. 31/10/2014) the lawyer Mr. Sotiris Pittas of the law firm Soteris Pittas & Co LLC, as legal advisor to Ryan Air, was present, flanked by three other persons who appeared to be executives of his law firm and who recorded their name on the list of attendees as Pitta Maria, Nikolas Christakis and Maria Kom. Roussou. From official data of the Cyprus Bar Association it seems that there are no lawyers named Nikolas Christakis and Maria Kom. Roussou but Christofinis Nikolas and Maria Komodromou. On the website of the law firm Nicos Chr. Anastasiades & Partners, they both appear as employees of this office.”

    All this, then, that is officially recorded was the subject of our analysis. Citizen remain at the disposal of anyone to promote their positions. Citizen do not, however, accept claims such as that Citizen have “artificially” put forward positions that are not valid. They can blame Citizen for whatever they want, but not deceit.

    The Bar Association

    In a concluding comment of last Sunday’s analysis, Citizen referred to the complaints that had been made after the publication of the EY investigation on 26/01/2015 and concluded by saying that the Cyprus Bar Association investigated the matter, appointing an investigating officer. We commented as a conclusion “in the end, we lived well and they better…”. However, since the final presentation of the matter in the newspaper may not make it clear what followed, we must clarify that the investigation was completed and there was even an announcement on June 2, 2015. According to the content of this communiqué, the Disciplinary Board of Lawyers relieved from any responsibility the law firm “Nikos Ch. Anastasiades & Associates”, noting that he concluded that there was nothing remiss with the participation of his two lawyers in the process of finding a strategic investor in Cyprus Airways.

    As the disciplinary board had concluded at the time, on the controversial issue of the names of the two lawyers who participated in the october 31st meeting, Christofinis Nikolas stated in writing the name Nikolas Christofis because behind him he had 15 people and was in a hurry, while Maria Komodromou used “Maria Kom. Roussou” because that’s how it is written on her lawyer’s id. It is specifically mentioned that Maria Komodromou Rousou recorded in the attendance of the meeting her name as Maria Kom. Roussou using both adjectives, as they are recorded in her legal card issued by the Cyprus Bar Association and how Nikolas Christofinis recorded in the special area of the attendance register his full name as Nikolas Christofis (and not Christakis as written in the report of the Audit Office), explaining that Christofis instead of Christofinis must have been due to a graphic error, because of the rush because they were waiting for another 15 people in their turn.

    “The Disciplinary Board during its sessions of 7.5.2015 and 27.5.2015 accepted the content of the report of the investigating person, which appears to be consistent with the testimonies received and unanimously considered that it is not justified to refer any of the lawyers under investigation to trial before the Disciplinary Council of lawyers,” the statement concluded.

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