Former President Nicos Anastasiades is facing scrutiny for possessing two pistols, one of which may be state-owned, in Cyprus. The police’s silence on the issue has raised concerns about transparency and potential abuse of power, leading the audit office to inform the anti-corruption authority.
What is the controversy surrounding former President Anastasiades and state-owned pistols in Cyprus?
Former President Nicos Anastasiades is under scrutiny for possessing two pistols, amid concerns one is state-owned. The Cyprus police’s silence on the issue, despite strict gun ownership laws requiring approval, has sparked a debate on transparency, accountability, and potential abuse of power. The audit office has alerted the anti-corruption authority.
The Silence of the Police
The recent silence of the police has raised eyebrows across Cyprus. Revelations surfaced that former President Nicos Anastasiades is in possession of two pistols, which may belong to the state. This information came to light after an audit office report on police activities requested details on firearm licenses issued to individuals. In a nation where the ownership of guns is strictly regulated—requiring approval from both the police and cabinet—the lack of transparency from the police is noteworthy.
The Former President’s Armory
Delving into the specifics, it was uncovered that Anastasiades has two pistols. The first, licensed in 2004, came after a security threat to himself and his family. The police security committee approved his request for a firearm, and he received a USP 9mm with ammunition, without a specified time limit for possession. The second is a JAWS 9mm, a gift from King Abdullah II of Jordan in 2018, bestowed upon Anastasiades during his presidency.
The State-Owned Firearm Controversy
The audit office’s report flagged the second pistol’s status. Given to Anastasiades under his title of President, it presumably remains state property. Despite this, there has been no public clarification from Anastasiades about the pistols. When questioned, the police spokesman, Christos Andreou, claimed no knowledge of the issue, citing confidentiality.
Audit Office’s Stand
The gravity of potential abuse of power and obstruction of the audit office’s duties prompted them to inform the anti-corruption authority. The audit office expressed its concern in a letter dated September 28, 2023, also forwarded to the office of the current president.
Complications in Transparency
The friction between the audit office and the police revolves around disclosure. The police have only agreed to provide firearm registration numbers, not the names of the licensees, many of whom are public figures. This lack of transparency could have broader implications for public trust and governance.
The Licenses and Gifts
The case of Anastasiades illuminates the complexities of firearm ownership in positions of power. Licenses granted for personal protection create a different scenario than gifts received as part of state protocol. The latter raises questions about the ownership transfer and the responsibilities of office bearers once their term ends.
Publicity and Confidentiality
The juxtaposition of widespread media coverage against the wall of police confidentiality creates an environment ripe for speculation. The public discourse has been further fueled by the audit office’s unprecedented step of involving the anti-corruption authority, suggesting the issue’s seriousness.
The Ongoing Saga
As the story unfolds with no clear resolution, attention remains fixed on the authorities for further clarification. The police’s silence and the former president’s reticence have set the stage for a continued debate on transparency, accountability, and the intersection of personal rights with public duties.
- Former President Nicos Anastasiades is facing scrutiny for possessing two pistols, one of which may be state-owned, in Cyprus.
- The police’s silence on the issue has raised concerns about transparency and potential abuse of power.
- The audit office has informed the anti-corruption authority about the situation.
- The lack of transparency from the police regarding firearm licenses is noteworthy in a country with strict gun ownership laws.
- The audit office’s concerns about abuse of power and obstruction of duties prompted them to involve the anti-corruption authority.