By Stelios Orphanides
The Ministry of Justice said that Cyprus has received no request by authorities in the US or elsewhere for legal assistance in investigating a case related to the activities of Paul Manafort, a former advisor to US president Donald Trump.
“In case such a request is submitted in writing, the ministry will refer it to the competent authorities,” the ministry said in a statement on the website of the Press and Information Office on Friday.
The reaction came a week after the Associated Press reported that Manafort, who stepped down as head of Trump’s election campaign in August, after it emerged that he had done lobby work for East-European oligarchs, and his activities in Cyprus were part of an investigation to recover assets which may have been stolen by the toppled Ukrainian leader Viktor Yanukovych.
On Wednesday, NBC News reported that 15 accounts held by 10 companies related to Manafort are being investigated for money laundering, including an account belonging to PEM Advisors Ltd, which played a role in the acquisition of a television network in Ukraine for $18.9m.
Both Associated Press and broadcaster NBC reported that Cypriot authorities had already received requests from US authorities to assist, a claim that Attorney General Costas Clerides denied on Wednesday.