Report on Cypriot ‘open secrets’

The chief of Cyprus’s police yesterday handed President Tassos Papadopoulos the results of a police investigation into how top state secrets happened to be lying in garbage bags in a public space for weeks. «The president will discuss this with the attorney general and whatever is decided will be announced,» government spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides said as he left the president’s office with police chief Tassos Panayiotou. The discovery by Fileleftheros newspaper of the state secrets at the Health Ministry caused a political crisis on the island and a furious President Papadopoulos called a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday. The discarded documents dealt with military and other security issues, weapons procurements, and so on. The president ordered all ministers to investigate whether similar documents are lying around in their offices. Also yesterday, a Health Ministry cleaner’s claim that the minister’s office had ordered cleaning staff to throw out state documents led to a protest from Health Minister Dina Akkelidou, who blamed the previous government. Akkelidou said she would not resign over mistakes made by those who were demanding her resignation. If (security regulations) had not been observed, this was not her responsibility, she claimed. Journalist PetrosTheoharidis had gone to the ministry with two Turkish Cypriots to help them apply for health cards when he saw the documents spilling out of torn bin liners on the pavement outside the building. Theoharidis reportedly took a week to gather up the documents, coming and going during office hours to pick up the bags in his car without being questioned. Fileleftheros’s management handed the documents over to the authorities without publishing details of their contents.

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