Cypriot newspaper reports more scrutiny over published hacked emails

By Emil Weber

Newspaper Politis has warned of more scrutiny from the authorities regarding its articles on a case of hacked emails which revealed Cypriot prosecutors’ connections to Russia.

The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) recently reported on the case.

Following the Politis stories, Deputy Attorney General Eleni Lοizidou - who was exposed as allegedly having provided advice on extradition cases to Russia - was suspended. Meanwhile, a disciplinary investigation against her was opened.

But Lοizidou has launched a right to privacy lawsuit seeking between half a million to two million euros in damages from Politis.

A Cypriot court has also issued a decree that prohibits the newspaper from publishing or republishing further emails, which Politis had challenged. Dionysis Dionysiou, news director of Politis, told ECPMF that since then five journalists of the newspaper have been interviewed by the police under several criminal charges.

According to Dionysiou, the charges involve "conspiracy to commit felony", "deliberate disclosure of personal data" and "disobedience to a court order", since Politis articles remain accessible on the internet.

Dionysiou told ECPMF:

The Legal Service of Cyprus is trying to silence the journalists to deal with a matter of public interest. The Attorney General attempts to change the basis of the debate because he is personally involved [in hacked emails]."

The news director sees an inconsistency in the Attorney General's actions.

"If [Attorney General], based on the emails of Ms. Loizidou, asks for an investigation against her, why should we, who have just said the same, be sentenced to imprisonment? Mr. Clerides did not make an illegal use of Ms. Loizidou's personal data in order to request an investigation against her?"

The hacked material was first published on a Russian website, Kompromat.

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Source information: This article was originally published by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom –