Brand-new MEP faces bribe probe

NICOSIA (AFP) – A maverick Cypriot Euro MP, one of six elected from the island last week following its May 1 accession to the European Union, is under investigation over allegations he sought bribes from a defendant, Justice Minister Doros Theodorou confirmed yesterday. Theodorou rejected suggestions an attempt had been made to cover up the case against Marios Matsakis, a forensic pathologist and activist against the British bases on Cyprus elected on the center-right DIKO ticket of President Tassos Papadopoulos. «As soon as the government was informed, it sent the case to the attorney general,» Theodorou said. «The president called for the investigation to go ahead.» Matsakis himself strongly rejected the allegation that he sought 17,000 euros from a police officer to get him off a charge of attempted murder. «All I have to say is that I am innocent. Some people want to close my mouth in Cyprus and in Europe,» he said. DIKO said it knew nothing about the allegations until they surfaced in the Politis newspaper on Thursday, although the government had known of them since April.