Matsakis appears in court to deny charges

MEP MARIOS Matsakis yesterday appeared in a Nicosia court charged with compounding a felony and corruption in connection with allegations that he offered to change his pathologist’s report in a case involving the shooting of a drug suspect.
He denied both charges.

The charge sheet accused the MEP of entering an agreement to change his report in exchange for money, so that it would not support possible criminal charges against a police officer facing investigation into the wounding of a drug suspect during an operation.

Matsakis was representing the injured drug suspect at the time.

Matsakis posted bail of £1,000 and was ordered to appear in court again for the trial on June 5.

The trial is taking place after the European Parliament lifted Matsakis’ immunity from prosecution last September.

Procedures were launched after Politis newspaper published leaked police transcripts of conversations between the officer and Matsakis, allegedly setting up the deal.

Police claim the pathologist approached the officer offering to change his report in exchange for cash. When the officer reported the case, his superiors told him to play along, recording the conversations that ensued.

Matsakis’ immunity has also been lifted in connection with an ongoing police investigation into allegations of illegal possession of antiques, after police seized a large number of chests and urns during a raid on his home in the village of Pyrga.

The drug squad officer was recently acquitted of charges in connection with the shooting.