NEWS

Cyprus secrets report revealed

Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos yesterday made public a police report on how top-secret state documents were found in garbage bags in public view at the Health Ministry. He accepted «political responsibility» for the fiasco but said he would not fire Health Minister Dina Akkelidou, who had tendered her resignation. This led to further mutual recriminations between the government and the opposition. In a statement, Papadopoulos accused the former government of «mishandling» secret documents. He left open the possibility of ministry officials being punished for what he called «a lack of responsibility,» saying the attorney general would decide if there were grounds for disciplinary action or prosecution. The police report blames the Health Ministry’s general director, Andy Tryphonides, and not the minister, saying the former should have known the procedures for handling classified documents and should have demanded that procedures for their destruction be followed strictly. The minister, the report said, was not the official responsible for seeing what happens to documents. Papadopoulos said Akkelidou had «tendered her resignation, admitting that she had ordered the removal of the files without taking care to check their contents or where they ended up… After much thought and concern, I decided not to accept Mrs Akkelidou’s resignation.» He said the main reason was because the top-secret documents were not published by Phileleftheros (the newspaper whose reporter found them), but returned safely to the authorities. Opposition Democratic Rally leader Nikos Anastasiades accused the government of «not only not shouldering its heavy responsibility… but also using legalistic excuses to cast blame on the former government, cleaning ladies and clerks.»