The Speaker of the House of Representatives in Cyprus, Demetris Syllouris, resigned on Thursday following corruption allegations implicating him and other officials in the selling of passports to convicted felons.
Political parties demanded his resignation after he and another lawmaker, Christakis Giovanis, appeared ready to help criminals obtain Golden Visa passports via Cyprus’s citizenship-through-investment program.
The political crisis erupted after a damning investigation by Al Jazeera aired on Monday.
Exclusive: We go undercover to expose how a criminal can obtain a European passport. It involves an alternative, unofficial route through the Cyprus Investment Programme, and carries a higher price tag.
The #CyprusPapers Undercover pic.twitter.com/xVORmPpPB8
— Al Jazeera Investigations (@AJIunit) October 12, 2020
Since the investigation’s release on Monday, the government has abolished the investment scheme and Giovanis has resigned from his position.
Also on Monday, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades was caught on camera warning journalists not to ask him questions about the scandal.
“Don’t mention Al Jazeera to me, so the devil will not take you,” he was heard saying.