Ayia Napa Mayor Faces Court Search Over Grant Misuse Allegations

Legal Troubles for Ayia Napa Mayor Ahead of Elections

In a surprising turn of events, Ayia Napa Mayor Christos Zannettou is under scrutiny for his involvement in an alleged financial scandal. Accusations have surfaced regarding the unlawful acquisition of a substantial European grant, totaling €765,000, for a hotel renovation project. The controversy arises from Zannettou’s reported stake in the hotel’s owning company.

With municipal elections looming, the timing of these allegations has raised eyebrows. Zannettou’s legal representative, Elias Stefanou, has expressed concerns over the resurfacing of this court case search so close to the election date. The case records indicate that the matter was brought to the Famagusta District Court last month, with a trial initially set for May 24. However, it has been postponed to June 13, just after the elections.

The hotel project initially received approval in 2010 through an incentive plan funded by the European Regional Development Fund. Yet, by 2015, the Republic of Cyprus’s Directorate General for European Programmes, Coordination and Development demanded its withdrawal, citing non-compliance with inclusion criteria. This led to a series of audit reports and eventually a call for a criminal record lookup by the Audit Office in 2016.

These reports also prompted suggestions for a criminal investigation of Cyprus tourism organisation (CTO) members. Despite the initial clearance of CTO members from criminal offenses by Famagusta police, disciplinary infractions were noted, and further investigations into potential financial losses for the state were ordered.

The case has since made its way through the legal system, with the mayor’s lawyer confirming that no formal indictment has been received as of yet. Stefanou’s office plans to conduct a thorough investigation, emphasizing that prior police investigations occurred years ago without subsequent action until now.

Zannettou faces serious charges including forgery and obtaining money by false pretenses. This development has led to political repercussions, with reports indicating that politicians are distancing themselves from the mayor by canceling pre-election meetings due to the pending public court records.

The mayor, who took office in 2020 following his predecessor’s appointment as transport minister, now faces a critical juncture in both his political career and personal legal standing as the court search continues to unfold.

European grant

Was the €765k European grant for Ayia Napas hotel project lawfully obtained by Mayor Zannettou?

The €765k grant for Ayia Napas hotel project was awarded following EU protocols, with Mayor Zannettous administration meeting all requisite legal criteria for funding.

Can Mayor Zannettou legally justify securing a €765,000 European grant for his own hotel project?

Send a request and get a free consultation:

Business Cyprus News, Dig Deeper Into Court Assistance

Thanks for the apply!
We will get back to you within 1 business day
In the meantime, you can get a free consultation from our AI assistant:​