By Stelios Orphanides
Attorney Eleni Loizidou, the second in command at the Law Office who had her ties to Russia exposed in a massive email leak, said that she was equally “friendly” with counterparts in the US and the UK as in the case with Russians, the Guardian reported on Wednesday.
The attorney, who was until Monday heading the department of extraditions before being transferred to other duties and appeared to have helped Russia with advice in cases of requests prompting a special investigation, said that she had never received any rewards in exchange.
“I have never received any presents from Russia except the occasional vodka and small chocolates,” she was quoted as saying in the Guardian report on Wednesday. “I have never lived with expensive taste. My salary is only €4,000 a month”.
Loizidou, who was using her private email account to correspond with Russian officials, said that she considered what she had done was “cooperation,” the UK newspaper reported on its website.
In some of the emails she appears to also request favours in exchange of advice she gave to Russian prosecutors.
Her comments come a day after Attorney-general Costas Clerides requested from the council of ministers to appoint an investigator to probe her Russian links, satisfied by the cabinet on Wednesday.
According to press reports citing her leaked correspondence with Russian officials, Loizidou expressed criticism over the government’s handling of cases involving requests for cooperation from Russia, including the case of Hermitage Capital founder Bill Browder.
Browder resorted to a Cypriot court to get an emergency injunction to terminate Cyprus’s cooperation with Russia in a probe against him seen by the Council of Europe as politically motivated. Browder is heading a global campaign for justice for lawyer Sergei Magnitsky who died in prison eight years ago tortured and deprived of medical treatment after the police officers he implicated in a massive tax theft arrested him.