Justice denied!!!!

Discussion in 'Cyprus Property' started by Cornholio, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. Cornholio

    Cornholio New Member

    O’ Dwyer loses case against developers
    By Nathan Morley
    Published on January 21, 2011

    HOMEBUYER Conor O’Dwyer was left devastated yesterday after losing his private criminal prosecution against a land developer in a case which could have far-reaching implications for the property sector in Cyprus.

    The long awaited verdict has cleared Paralimni based Karayiannas Developers of any wrongdoing - whilst delivering a bitter blow for O’Dwyer after years of legal wrangling over a disputed villa in Frenaros.

    Despite the state refusing to press charges citing lack of evidence, O’Dwyer pushed on with the action after a court found there was a prima facie case.

    O’Dwyer, 40, tried to establish criminal activity claiming his contract was cancelled by Karayiannas - pointing to the fact that the disputed four-bedroom villa was already rubber stamped in his name at the Land Registry.

    To make matters worse, O’Dwyer alleged that the villa was later resold without his knowledge, resulting in him not only losing the property but also £100,000 of instalments he had paid to the developer.

    “My worst fears have come true,” O’Dwyer told the Cyprus Mail after the court hearing yesterday, “What this means is that a developer can keep your money and never deliver your house, then if they want they can re-sell it. Our contract is in the Land Registry and someone else is in our house, it’s that simple.”

    In a surprise move, the judge presiding over the Famagusta district court in Larnaca also ordered that O’Dwyer foot all the legal bills, which he estimates could amount to tens of thousands of pounds.

    O’Dwyer initiated the legal action two years ago citing section 303A of the penal code - the action made the case significant, as 303A has never been used in such a prosecution.

    Article 303A states that: “Any person who, with intent to defraud, deals in immovable property belonging to another is guilty of a felony and is liable to imprisonment for seven years.”

    Lawyer Yiannos Georgiaides, acting for O’Dwyer, confirmed to the Cyprus Mail that an appeal against the ruling will be launched, whilst also insisting that there had been a clear error of law.

    Georgiaides pointed to existing Supreme Court legislation which he said states that as soon as a contract is filed by a buyer with the Land Registry, the buyer is the legal owner of the property.

    “We will appeal against the decision of the judge in this private prosecution because we believe it is against existing Cyprus law and could give the wrong messages to investors from abroad that in Cyprus their rights are not protected by buying property even if they file the contract of sale with the land registry.”

    Georgiaides added that investors must be assured that the law in Cyprus is safeguarding their rights.

    “The judgments of the Supreme Court are binding on the lower courts since in Cyprus we follow the English common law system,” he said.

    Supporters of O’Dwyer maintain that the case has national significance and could have severe adverse effects on the property market.

    However the lawyer for Karayiannas Developers, Efthimios Flourentzou told the Cyprus Mail that he was delighted with the outcome and the key points of the case had been laid bare during the hearing.

    “I was convinced about the outcome, substantial elements of the charges brought simply could not be proved - justice is done,” he told the Cyprus Mail.

    Karayiannas Developers have continually denied any wrongdoing and accused O’Dwyer of attempting to extort a more expensive house from them – a charge that O’Dwyer flatly denies.

    The ongoing saga has taken a series of twists and turns over the past five years, including O’Dwyer staging demonstrations outside the Cyprus High Commission in London, sleeping outside the Presidential Palace in Nicosia and publishing his entire story online and on the video site You Tube.

    Last year the developer, his son and an associate were all convicted of actual bodily harm against O'Dwyer and given suspended sentences after they rammed his rental car at a busy junction near the disputed house, then subjected him to a savage beating.

    In a separate twist, the state filed charges against O’Dwyer last year – following a complaint from the developer over a personal website he created documenting the entire house purchasing saga.

    O’Dwyer is a self employed importer of giftware and his wife Michaela is a management accountant. Their intention when purchasing the property was to live in Cyprus and start a new business.

    The case has been closely followed by expatriate communities on the island, where as many as 30,000 Britons are now thought to own property.

    O? Dwyer loses case against developers - Cyprus Mail
  2. Lysos

    Lysos New Member

    I doubt that anyone familiar with Cyprus is surprised by this flagrant disregard for the rule of law. If this goes uncorrected then the construction industry, already on its' knees, will be severely hit.

    Together with the Title Deeds scandal, the blatant profiteering of some in the tourist industry, & the withdrawal of airlines from Paphos, the island is set for a return to the 1960's. (No bad thing in my view !).

    Maybe then we'll see an end to the rapacious greed of so many.
  3. Veronica

    Veronica Administrator

    This is a disgrace:frown:
    Where is the justice?
  4. Disillusioned

    Disillusioned New Member

    Disgraceful decision and ludicrous.

    No more can Cypriots say that they land in the north was stolen because they legalised selling someone else's.
  5. findingout

    findingout New Member

    This is terrible. I have been seriously considering Cyprus lately, but before I put even my toe in the water I'm going to look into this a lot deeper.
  6. Veronica

    Veronica Administrator

    As long as do your homework very thoroughly, have a good independant lawyer (never use the lawyer recommended by the developer) you should be safe.

    I have to say that although I cannot name them on the open forum forum there are 3 or 4 of the best known developers which I would not touch under any circumstances.
    Often the medium sized developers are the best and most reliable.
    The best properties to buy are resales with title deeds.

  7. Lysos

    Lysos New Member

    Initially, Veronica, it would seem you don't like your "PAL".
  8. Veronica

    Veronica Administrator

    Ok I am thick, I know that is cryptic but my brain dosnt do cryptic:hmmmm2::typical:
  9. findingout

    findingout New Member

    I would really appreciate it if you could pm me those names, even if it's just to say 'check them out you might be interested'. It would be a lot of help to me, really!

  10. Lysos

    Lysos New Member

    It's quite simple really. If you are thinking of buying for investment - don't !. (Enormous over supply of properties for rent). If buying for your own use, then as Pippin says, you should ONLY consider resales with title deeds.
  11. Cornholio

    Cornholio New Member


    Our View: O’Dwyer decision another nail in the property coffin
    Published on January 29, 2011

    ALTHOUGH we are not legal experts and cannot express an informed opinion on the legal intricacies of court cases, there is a point raised in the judgement of the O’Dwyer vs Karayiannas Developers case that makes no sense at all. In her judgment, the judge noted that “the fact that they (the plaintiffs) submitted a sales contract to the Land Registry did not mean that they automatically and in perpetuity have become the ‘owners’ (as they mean it) of the residence.”

    This is a bewildering view that would suggest that the irrevocable right to property is not protected by the law in Cyprus. If a sales contract for a property that is submitted to the Land Registry does not mean that the buyer has become the owner in perpetuity, then we have a serious problem with our laws.

    How and when would a buyer become the legal owner of a piece of real estate in perpetuity? Are we to believe that our law does not always safeguard the right to ownership of property?

    These are very important questions that nobody should be asking in a country in which there is rule of law. The protection of property rights is one of the fundamental principles on which democracies are built. Yet the judge in the above-mentioned case did not believe that the submission of a sales contract to the Land Registry was enough to guarantee a person’s property rights. If this is the case, and the judge understands the law better than us, then people should be told how their property rights are protected when they buy real estate.

    Until this judgment was issued, most people were under the impression that once a sales contract was submitted to the land registry, the ownership of the buyer was indisputable. There is a Supreme Court decision supporting this position, but the judge in the O’Dwyer case either disagreed with it or was not aware of it. Whatever her reasons, her decision was another nail in the coffin of the Cyprus property market, as it served to reinforce the widely held view among foreign buyers that Cyprus law offers little protection to property buyers.

    There could not have been a worse advertisement for the Cyprus property market than this decision. When a judge rules that not even the submission of a sales contract to the Land Registry safeguards property rights, what foreigner, in his right mind, would consider buying a holiday home in Cyprus?

    Our View: O?Dwyer decision another nail in the property coffin - Cyprus Mail
  12. Disillusioned

    Disillusioned New Member

    Wish I'd never set foot in Cyprus and would never advise anyone buy there.
    If you get past the title deeds and developer mortgage problems they'll find some other way to rob you of your life savings.

    You might get some free accomodation in the hospital courtesy of your developer though.

    Been defrauded out of half a million euros myself and ex-lawyer spat in my face when I protested. Hey ho. They do say they are known for their hospitality.
  13. Disillusioned

    Disillusioned New Member

    State drops O’Dwyer case

    STATE prosecutors have decided not to continue with a case they filed last year against a British homebuyer who posted his very public row with a property developer on a homemade website.

    The extraordinary state action, which ran to seven charges, was aimed at Conor O’Dwyer and ended up drawing substantial media coverage. O’Dwyer said he built his site to prevent and detect a crime, whilst highlighting his plight during a long-running dispute with Paralimni based Karayiannas Developers.

    O’Dwyer’s lawyer Yiannos Georgiaides had described the case as frivolous, vexatious and an effort to intimidate his client for pursuing his rights.

    However yesterday, the Attorney General Petros Clerides contacted Georgiaides by letter to inform him that he was withdrawing the state’s case; however no reason was given for the surprise move.

    Speaking to the Cyprus Mail, Georgiaides said he was pleased with the development.

    “Obviously this is a step in the right direction for the government especially, for them to be suing a man who was pursuing his legal rights did not send out the right signals abroad,” he said.

    The controversy between the two parties began five years ago, when O’Dwyer claimed he purchased a house in Frenaros that he says was then resold without his knowledge by the developers.

    The case was filed following a complaint from the developer about the website, which documented this dispute in fine detail. The site included scanned documents relating to the purchase of the property, recordings of conversations, press cuttings and photographs of the disputed home.

    O'Dwyer faced seven charges - two for posting offensive messages "without reasonable cause", two for posting harassing messages "without reasonable cause", two for publishing personal data and one for "threat of violence."

    The latter, according to the details of the charge, referred to a threat the defendant allegedly made, to post recordings of his conversations with Marios Karayiannas on his website unless he "carried out an act, which he had no legal obligation to undertake".

    The goal, according to the action, was to insult the reputation of Marios Karayiannas and his company, the indictment said.

    The case raised significant issues concerning freedom of speech online in Cyprus and prompted supporters of O’Dwyer to email the Attorney General calling for a re-think.

    The timing of the state case also raised eyebrows as it came some four years after the alleged offences took place and during a private prosecution case O'Dwyer initiated against the developer.

    State drops O?Dwyer case - Cyprus Mail
  14. findingout

    findingout New Member

    That is very sad to hear... Half a million is an awful lot to lose.

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