Transcript for Video 1
Do not buy property in the Republic of Cyprus. Do not do business with a company registered in Cyprus and be very careful if you go there on holiday. Because Cyprus is now considered the most corrupt country in Europe where the judicial system is broken and if you’re not a well-connected local Greek Cypriot, you’re not equal before the law.
Hello, I’m Conor O’Dwyer and this is my first video of a new YouTube channel and website called Beyond Contempt where I will be giving you insight and analysis into Cypriot Justice. In this video, I’ll be telling you just a little about myself and my situation. A bit about the community of other victims and where we are at. I will be stating what I hope to achieve with Beyond Contempt. I’ll be previewing the videos coming soon and discuss what we can do today, to start to fight back.
Links to everything I cover are below in the show notes and there is an audio version available on Soundcloud. It will be up on all the usual podcast platforms and hopefully soon in the iTunes store.
So who am I? Well I am just one of the many thousands of Brits living a nightmare after buying property in the Republic of Cyprus. We all bought in the belief that Cyprus as a member of the European Union that it shared our legal principles, when in truth, in truth it’s a completely different world from the one we are used to. Now my court case against a property developer in Cyprus is over 12 years old now with no end in sight.
OK let’s stop there, an astute listener will be horrified at what I just said. My court case is over 12 years old now and there is no end in sight. If you’re thinking of buying property or doing business in Cyprus that statement is all you need to know. We’re not two minutes into this video and you don’t need to know anything about me, my property developer, corruption on the island or how you’ll be treated in court against a local.
Just know that if you’re entering a contract where the governing law and jurisdiction is Cyprus. You could be in for court case for 13 years minimum it’s much worse now. If your holiday takes a nasty turn it will be 13 years before you get justice and if you’re thinking of retiring there, you need to know this, because you know who does know this? Well, it’s every property developer, lawyer, financial advisor, businessman and banker on the island and it affects the way they treat you after you sign your contract and pay your deposit.
Now I’ll be showing you how that affects Society how that affects every interaction, transaction and decision you make, how scammers and criminals now thrive in Cyprus, because the sensible move now would be to give up on litigation altogether. I’ve been in this too long and too much was taken from us up front. I was in my 30’s I’m 49 now and I’ll be well into my 50’s by the time this is over for me and my family.
But it’s so bad over there now that you may not live long enough, your business will certainly not survive. You would have to accept what the criminals do to you now and drop every issue, be it for 10,000 or 200,000. They know this in Cyprus and they know this in the property shows in the UK and it’s much worse for us foreigners, I’ll continue with my story.
OK here is a summary. I bought a brand-new villa, off plan, back in 2005, but it was in 2006 halfway through the build and while I was halfway through paying for it, that my property developer Christoforos Karayiannas and Son Ltd breached the contract, kept my money and sold my house to another person at a higher price to profit more. Now, of course, this shouldn’t be possible. My property contract was deposited in the land registry, that house, that plot was mine. This was not a civil fraud, this was a criminal one and there’s plenty of precedents against this crime. For this crime, the developer, the lawyers and all their co-conspirators faced up to seven years in prison.
So you’d think it would be simple wouldn’t you? My property contract is in the land registry deposited for specific performance, my money is in their bank and someone else has been sold the house and has taken up residence. But the judiciary in Cyprus would do nothing against this local developer, not for a foreigner, so I took out a private criminal prosecution at great expense and that went all the way to the Supreme Court where they broke with all their precedents of similar cases and said I had to prove first in a civil court that I didn’t breach my contract.
I didn’t breach my contract, Karayiannas did, and that was proved later in the civil court. But in that civil court, I was awarded no compensation nothing, nothing for the foreseeable damage the developer caused, nothing for the years in rented accommodation, still ongoing. No legal fees were awarded, which by then exceeded the amount they stole, nothing, no penalty against the developer.
He was merely told to give us our money back, and I was instructed to hand over the house to the unlawful occupant, remove myself from the land registry. This is the result every foreigner gets in Cyprus. You win your case but you lose outright, and I’ll be showing you this here on this channel.
Of course, I’m appealing those damages, and my case is 12.5 years old now with no end in sight and I’m still in rented accommodation, and no doubt I’m heading towards the European Court of Human Rights. You can’t sell the same property twice, not anywhere in Europe but this simple case would have taken a year in the UK courts.
Now there’s a lot more to my story, more cases are awaiting appeal, and that’s why I’m well placed to tell you about the treatment of foreigners in general and the abuse we suffer. Soon after entering contract my property developer Karayiannas he started his abuse, So I recorded all his phone calls and meetings and I eventually published them online with all his sales pitch lies and showing the breaches of the contract he made. So, what does he do? Well, he assaulted me, twice. The first assault, back in 2006 was captured on video, but they got away with the crime easy. You see it was simple for them. The local prosecutor just didn’t call me to court and the case was discontinued in my absence. This wasn’t a mistake though; this was a deliberate act by the local prosecutor. That prosecutor had told my lawyer that they were going to adjourn the case. That they are too busy and that I’m not to show up. Then two days later in our absence, they filed for the case to be dismissed. The events are documented in this letter to the Attorney General who refused to refile the case.
Now can you imagine how I felt, we’re in 2007 now, the developer had already sold my house to another and the police were refusing to investigate that, and now a prosecuting officer does this in the assault case. You know, this was my first indication of how corrupt Cyprus truly was.
But now, energized getting off from one assault Karayiannas assaulted me again. Just three months later on my next trip after taking photos of my house, gathering evidence for the civil case, I was attacked by the two directors father and son and an employee, the beating was so bad, they put me in hospital for five days, and it was six months till I was back to full health. That assault was harder to walk free from not only because of the seriousness of the crime, but the attention it brought and I made sure of that with protests here in the UK. It was hard for them to walk free but not impossible, not in Cyprus, and not against a foreigner.
You know, ahead of the assault, the geniuses, had actually phoned the police to say come quickly, I was outside the house, and if they get there first, they’re going to assault me. The policeman even testified to this in court. They then rammed my hired car in the centre of the village and in front of dozens of witnesses the three of them attacked me.
They still plead not guilty though, which led to a two-year-long court case. Now for that 10-minute assault, I was under cross-examination for fourteen days. Over 20 hours of cross-examination for a 10-minute attack. Talking about everything from my website, my property contract, my education, everything you could possibly imagine to delay, break me and my finances.
I was tortured by the courts, flying back and forth from the UK for months every day my case would be the last to be heard and many many times the proceedings would be cancelled altogether. But I continued, mindful that if I didn’t, that they would be exonerated in my absence and mindful that if I can’t secure a conviction in the assaults, what hope do I have for the breach of contract for my house.
In the end, it was horrendous, the court bias was disgusting, the policeman’s testimony of the phone call was dismissed as inconsistent and not credible. That phone call Karayiannas made saying they were going to “assault me”, in the eyes of the judge just didn’t happen. The ramming of my hired car in the centre of the village was then put down to “bad luck” the courts words not mine, and only after that “bad luck” did Karayiannas recognize me as the one who was telling his story on the internet.
Karayiannas showed no remorse at all. Quite the opposite in fact. “You deserved what you got” was shouted at me by their lawyer and the judge effectively agreed. By creating a website warning others of this company, exposing their lies, the breaches of the contract, saying how they sold my house twice, by publishing all these recordings of my abuse including the first assault, by publishing all this, I somehow, deserved what I got in Cyprus.
Now remember this company has all my money, they’re in control, they won’t give it back, and they’ve put me and my family in rented accommodation, ruined our lives, this company is in charge of the nightmare, but in the eyes of the Cypriot Judge, they were the victims on the day because I as a customer was speaking out warning others. The judge said what they were suffering was serious and persistent provocation and after they spotted me in town, they then suffered a “sudden and temporary loss of self-control.” For the second time I guess.
The Judge misapplied our English case law of how murder can be reduced to manslaughter and used this case law to excuse this second assault by a “sudden and temporary loss of self-control” that they were provoked, that they lost their minds in the moment. And that case law was misused first to reduce the sentence and then misused again to suspended it entirely, another legal error. It’s an abomination of law, you cannot keep assaulting someone in premeditated attacks because they expose your companies dealings.
Listen don’t get sold on the fake news that the Cypriot legal system is heavily based on English Common Law. Those precedents don’t apply to us over there, it’s based on bigotry, bias, corruption and just the hatred of anyone not Greek Cypriot.
After two years and over 40 hearing dates, showing no remorse at all, the thugs walked free laughing with a suspended sentence. And again, this was upheld years later at the supreme court; this is sanctioned from the top down. They don’t give a damn about us and they will never punish one of their own property developers no matter what he does to a foreigner. They never have, and that signal is clear and it puts the expat community off from speaking out and seeking justice through the courts.
I heard that a custodial sentence would have been unfair to their families, to hell with mine I guess. I spent months away from my family to secure that conviction for the state. Months. In the next two videos I’ll be giving you insight into that case and the judge, I’ll be telling you what really went on, how the press was shut out from the courtroom and how the transcripts weren’t even produced for the appeal.
So onto the civil case for that assault and as the saying goes, history repeats itself, first as a tragedy, and second as a farce. And although they were found guilty of these assaults in the criminal case when it came to the civil suit I got virtually nothing in compensation. Nothing has been paid to me to this day, ten years later. For damages of that assault, the directors of this company weren’t even fined my expenses for attending court or the tens of thousands of pounds in legal fees, nothing reimbursed to me, not even the receipt of the car they rammed, the cameras they broke, was ever paid back. So like the property case, the damages for that assault are being appealed. And although the case was a decade ago now, the issue is still live, that’s why I’m telling you now, and that’s why I’m never giving up and I never will. You will be shocked what happened to me in court, and it happens to every foreigner over there, daily.
The courts are vicious, the xenophobia and bigotry is overpowering. And it’s designed that way, this is not a bug this is a feature, the re-victimization of foreigners is designed to have a chilling effect on the populous, don’t even try to take a local to court it will be 13 years of hell, and you won’t get anywhere. That’s the message they want out. Just read the comments on any Cyprus Mail article on crime.
In the criminal cases against Karayiannas the state was supposed to pay my expenses for attending court but they never did. All those trips I did under subpoena as a witness for the state and not a penny was returned. So by the time it came for our civil cases for damages our funds were exhausted. So I applied for cross-border legal aid as is our European Right and after much effort and more expense to get it, it was eventually awarded. A legal first in Cyprus but don’t celebrate this headline though, because Cyprus didn’t pay that legal aid either and we ran out of money, our case hampered as we went further into debt.
In just a few short years we went from buying a villa in cash, with no mortgage, to debt. Everything I’d ever worked for gone and my head kicked in twice for good measure, that’s buying property in the Republic of Cyprus, it’s lethal to so many. There is a lot for the European Court of Human Rights but we have to wait till the Supreme Court in Cyprus is finished with our appeals and they are way overdue now, way into the nasty and we’ve had enough.
Karayiannas and their co-conspirators should have gone to jail for what they did to me and my family and had we been Greek Cypriot they would have. But it’s not over yet for Karayiannas, although I’ve been quiet for many years, I’ve been listening and people are starting to talk.
There is a lot more to my story, to Karayiannas and the criminals surrounding them and I’ll dedicate videos to it soon, outlining what happened when and in what order, including the accusations against me, and the attempts to silence me. So that’s just a little bit about me, a short summary, now let me tell you about others.
Now the community I’m in online, well at present, us victims are a fragmented community, we have retreated to hidden, invite-only, Facebook groups, where we share information about common developers, crooked lawyers, and banks. But problems arise with these closed Facebook groups. They’re not searchable through Google, the information is not being shared, our voices are not heard, and people are not warned, and of course, some groups are joint legal campaigns, class actions, and they are completely bound, to secrecy.
Now the largest number of property victims in Cyprus are of course those awaiting their title deeds. They number in the tens of thousands, some waiting 20 years or more, these people have paid for their houses in full and should have been given their deeds but instead, most are finding out that their developer did not comply with planning and all manner of tricks.
My developer Karayiannas was contracted to give us our title deeds within four years, but of course that was the least of his lies. 13 years later, I don’t think anyone on my development has got their title deeds, but do correct me though if I’m wrong though. Waiting for your title deeds holds you hostage to your developer, you can’t come out and criticise them for what they’ve delivered, they’ve got you by the throat and because of this, you’re vulnerable to extortionate community fees, maintenance fees, random bills from nowhere that you have to pay, to put right, to get your title. And in the meantime, in collusion with crooked banks, the developer is often securing more loans against your land. The extortion never ends, not even at the point of where you have to pay your immovable property tax fee. These fees are often paid in cash now, and developers they don’t pay their taxes, they are the untouchables in Cyprus.
But title deeds aside there are hundreds of victims here in the UK that never left these shores, and we will be protesting again outside the property shows to warn others. At our property shows here in the UK, developers from Cyprus roam feral, selling off plan property and pedalling the myth that the legal system is the same as ours when it’s unrecognizable. And if you found this video from one of those protests, know that those of us at the gate complaining bought over a decade ago. We bought soon after Cyprus had joined the EU when times were good, 13 years ago I bought, way before the world financial crash in 2008 and years before the Cyprus financial meltdown, of 2013, the haircut, bailout that brought the country to its knees.
If you are buying in Cyprus to retire there, in the hope that the good climate and Mediterranean diet will extend your life know that if anything goes wrong, with your Place in the Sun, the biggest purchase of your life, any litigation will take at least 13 years. So, if you’re 60, you will be over 73 before the courts are through with your case, and that’s if you make it, the community at the gate we’ve suffered suicides, the stress of all this takes a terrible toll on your health.
We all have different cases; some are at loggerheads with the banks over Swiss franc mortgages, contract terms that have been labelled abusive by consumer watchdogs throughout Europe. A lot of the properties weren’t even built, and the banks paid the developer for stages not complete, and the banks are chasing these mortgages here in the UK. I’ll cover these cases in later videos.
Our court cases were filed in the good times; the delays are much worse now. Many of us have given our entire wages to lawyers for years, and if you don’t play the decade-long expensive game of attending court in Cyprus, you will lose by default and our courts here in the UK will execute a warrant against your property at lightning speed, they don’t mess around.
So we fly back and forth only to have court appearances cancelled when we show. But nobody is recording this; there is no place in the newspaper to say that somebody used their holiday entitlement from work, flew to Cyprus to attend court only for it to be cancelled and for that to happen six times in a row. That is not a story that will make the news. But it happens all the time, and again its designed that way, people are getting rich off this misery and it’s not just the criminals. There is no record of this abuse until now,
Now, I’m building Beyond Contempt as a community platform, to bring it out in the open, to share information, to lobby, to witness, to expose and document wrongdoing. Us foreigners are taking a hammering in the Cypriot courts who are viciously uneven, and its going unreported. The press has only a limited space to publish a few verdicts and it doesn’t have enough resources to witness the daily torment of court proceedings.
Here I’ll cover the court cases in the news and I’ll reach out to the victims and I’ll go beyond the headlines. I’ll be explaining what it’s like attending court over there and what it’s like trying to set up a remote appearance by video from the UK. What it’s like fighting for translation, for legal aid, and all the things we take for granted here. It’s a real fight for us foreigners just to get an equal footing in court and for us, that’s only the start of the battle.
Now before I give you tips on attending court and show you some of the pitfalls, I want to show you my credentials, as to why I’m qualified to do this. I gave you a taste before into my story, but the devil is in the detail, and it’s in there, in the details that lessons can be learnt to help you with your cases and to best understand what’s going on in Cyprus.
I’ve prepared a video that goes into detail, an insight into my civil case for the breach of contract and the accusation of defamation against me and watching this video, you will instantly realize what you’re up against in Cyprus. I’ll share with you the facts of what happened, and at great risk, I will give you my honest opinion of what was really going on. I can’t even show you the true thumbnail to that video right now as it’s essential that you see the facts on which my honest opinion is based.
But I’ve got a hurdle to overcome, if I go straight into that case, that video, without putting it into context to the situation in Cyprus, you’re going to think I’m a madman, you’re going to think this is not possible, they can’t have done this, you might be thinking that already, by me saying how they could sell the same house twice and my short explanation as to how they got away with the assaults.
But if I tell you, for instance, that the lawyer who represented me, when Karayiannas breached the contract in 2006, the lawyer who advised me at the time of breach, then swapped sides to represent Karayiannas in the same court case. Swapped sides from representing me one day to representing them in the same case. That that lawyer Klydes was there in court, cross-examining me, on the advice he gave me. If I go straight into saying that and much much more, you’ll think I’ve lost my mind.
So I need to put that case in context first. I’ve made a video talking about corruption because things don’t make sense until you understand corruption in Cyprus and how that effects us. Corruption is rife in Cypriot society, these are not my words these are the words of the Justice Minister, and in December he said in a conference that the levels of corruption in Cyprus are now unfathomable. Unfathomable he said. Published the same month was an EU report where Cyprus now tops the Corruption Index in many areas, and 93% of those polled said that corruption is part of the country’s business culture. That’s the worst in Europe.
And what better bigger business is there than real estate, and it’s us foreigners who are the biggest victims of this corruption. So, I’ll be talking about corruption in that video the different types including the system of favours that prevents lawyers from suing each other and prevents prosecutors from pursuing your criminal cases. Corruption.
Also for context, before we talk about the property cases, assaults, medical malpractice, and financial crime it’s important to know your place in Cypriot society. You’re not a wealthy, well-connected local Greek Cypriot, you’re not equal before the law, and I’ve done a video exposing this. It’s an important watch. It’s actually what makes us vulnerable to the corruption, It’s the justification in the mind of the perpetrators at all levels of the criminal justice system. You need to know your place in Cypriot society. That’s video four.
Video three covers court steganography and court transcripts. That sounds mundane doesn’t it but it’s one of the most important videos in this series. Watch how easy it is for your opponent to be exonerated. See why Cyprus is now so corrupt, how they can be so brazen and how your simple slam-dunk case is now a decade-long debacle. All explained in Video three, court steganography and Court transcripts, a very important video.
Video 2 I’m releasing today explains how the press is shut out of the courtroom. The judiciary in Cyprus makes it impossible for journalists to cover your cases no matter how badly you’ve been treated. And once they’ve shut out the press, in that darkness all your other human rights fall in quick succession. If you watch video two, you will quickly see why this channel is vital for all of us.
Now I’m not a lawyer, and I won’t be giving out any legal advice but that wouldn’t help you anyway, and that’s my point here. What’s happened to me and others makes no legal sense at all, not in English law, EU Law, Cypriot law or anywhere. I’ll be sharing my experience and that of others, and you will see that the judiciary in Cyprus has complete disdain for us. Again, you can forget your rule of law and your precedents. And you can put away your evidence and to hell with your reasoning. The law and the constitution in Cyprus is for Greek Cypriots only, not you. Going against a local developer at his local court with a Cypriot judge. You stand no chance! No foreigner has ever won actual damages in any case I’ve been following, no one has ever been fully compensated, and I’ve been following this for 13 years and I’ll be showing you this here.
So my first six videos are long and I apologize for that, it’s a foundation series. In the future, I’ll break the issues down into small parts, short off the cuff videos and I’ll be live streaming in the evenings, in a relaxed fashion, updating you to the reaction and pushback from Cyprus. I’ll give you a front row seat to my appeals and the European Courts as I expose the criminals in Cyprus.
And I invite you to get involved and make contact, that’s what we can do today to start to fight back, let me hear your comments, give a shout out to your own cases and lets now come out from the underground groups, don’t just leave a comment there where no one can see. You going to have to be brave, it’s just not working staying quiet.
Please share these videos, leave a comment on YouTube, on Facebook or on Twitter using the hashtags #Cyprus and #BeyondContempt. Some Twitter accounts automatically retweet anything with the hashtag Cyprus just give it a try. If you like these videos do give them a thumbs up, click on the subscribe button and hit that little bell icon on YouTube, that will give you a notification of when a new video is up and that’s going to be vital because you may have to be quick, there’s going to be pushback to these videos, to this channel and to what I’ve got to say, there will be takedown notices, I’m sure, but I’m ready with contingencies. Already you can view my videos on all these platforms and download them direct from my website and I’ll host the videos myself if I have to.
I will be naming names, not only lawyers, property developers, estate agents and officials but also judges. Some very bad people are doing bad things and it’s only when we share our experience that we can piece together what’s going on. If you’re a victim of Cypriot justice, you‘ve been ripped off, or you have inside knowledge of corruption or criminal activity please send me a message, anonymously if you like.
Go to the contact page on BeyondContempt.com and there you will find instructions of how to contact me securely and anonymously, completely safe just by adding a simple app to your phone. Cyprus doesn’t have a specific law to shield whistle-blowers from retaliation, that’s the way the government likes it, another reason why they’re no1 for corruption in Europe.
If you’re a person of privileged access, maybe you’re working in the land registry or worked for an estate agent or a developer and you’re uncomfortable with what’s going on. Why not send me an anonymous tip, and I’ll do everything I can to name these individuals and bring these criminals down. Because remember, although it’s us foreigners that are the biggest victims of corruption, we’re not the only ones.
I’ll end on this, take my developer for example. Karayiannas are a scourge on Cypriot society, they not only stole from us and assaulted me twice, but they steal from their own community, these are not local heroes’ folks. They were stealing from the estate agents who promoted them, they actually admitted this in court, they admitted they were paying the agency staff cash under the table instead of the full commission to the estate agencies.
Recently, they have been sued by workers and suppliers and they themselves want paying in cash now and they were shamed in the national press for not paying their tax. But it went further than the non-payment reported, this case shows, they submitted incorrect and incomplete tax returns and worse they were claiming back VAT they weren’t owed. Taking money they weren’t owed. It’s not just us, they have been depriving their own community of significant amounts of money. A community suffering under austerity. My developers are criminals, they are thugs and thieves and have been found guilty on many occasions, but they go completely unpunished in that corrupt country, I wonder why?
And you’re not supposed to know any of this, in the last attempt to bully and silence me I was ordered by a judge in 2012 to take my website down, not tell anyone of the breach of contract or the assaults. But I never did, I never removed my websites and no serious attempt was ever made against them, just these threats from their corrupt lawyer Klydes screaming contempt of court and committal to prison.
But you see, it was a wretched ruling, from a judge who refused to recuse himself. Our case had fallen into the lap of a judge that had shown obvious favour to Karayiannas years before in another case against me. We knew we wouldn’t get a fair hearing with this judge and that something was very wrong from the outset, so we asked him to recuse himself and he refused. He wouldn’t step aside from this our main case with all our money at stake.
But I know what really went on in this case and I’ll tell you what happened and you will see that this court judgement was just another cowardly thuggish attempt from corrupt Cyprus to bully us and bring us to our knees and it will never work for them, I’ll never be silenced not by violence or crooked court order and I’ll take them to the European courts when they’re finally finished with us in Cyprus.
I’ll tell you what happened, as I cover this case in detail in video 6. But know this for now, just know that in that court case, I was fined a National record for defamation of 50,000 euros for merely calling these proven liars, liars on my website. And not only was their claim utter nonsense and I’ll show you that, but the company showed no damages as they refused to bring their financial accounts to court. That sum of 50,000 euros was just pulled out of thin air and in contrast, we brought every receipt for our damages to court and were awarded nothing. On top of that record-breaking fine for defamation, I was also fined 10,000 euros for the use of a word. For calling the company Karayanus instead of Karayiannas on a page on my website. I used that derogatory name as a customer against this company, only after my second assault, after I’d been hospitalized, after the fraud of reselling our house had already been exposed.
I called them a name online after all they had done to us, and I was fined more for using that name than I received in damages for the fraud and assaults. Think about that, that’s what you’re up against there in Cyprus, that’s what you’re worth over there, that’s how far they’ll go to protect their own and bully us. As I prepare for my appeals I’ll show you what really went on in the lower courts and I’ll expose criminals preying on foreigners and highlight the issues facing us all. I’m in contempt of court for not taking my websites down, but I’m moving beyond that, this is Beyond Contempt.