Kulaksiz 5 v Akfinans Bank – Summary 6th June 2011 Hearing

I arrived at court at just after 10.00 a.m. and was the first there. Imagine my surprise when Abdurrahman Guney walked into the court courtyard behind me. I suppressed my surprise and approached him, shook his hand and asked if he was there for Kulaksiz 5, which he confirmed he was. My Turkish is limited and so is his English so I had to wait till others in the group arrived before I got the details. Abdurrahman Guney, known as Hafis, had come to give evidence for the Kulaksiz 5, in effect, to confirm that the Bank had known the villas were built and sold at the time the mortgage was advanced.

The Hearing was due to start at 10.30 a.m. but as usual we were kept waiting and waiting. The supporters were there in good numbers and one kindly supplied me a black arm band. Well after the appointed start time our Advocate, Boysan Boyra, leaned over the balcony on the second floor and shouted for Richard Barclay. Richard went up to see him. We, the rest of K5 were getting anxious, so much so that another member and I went up to the courtroom we had been in before and found the door shut and the shutters down so naturally we assumed it was empty; mistake number one. We went back down to the courtyard to wait, assuming Richard might be in the Judges’ Chambers; mistake number 2. At just after 12.30 p.m. Richard came back into the courtyard and naturally we were all anxious to know where he had been and what time the case would start. Imagine our surprise to be told that Richard had in fact been in the court with the closed door and shutters and that the hearing had gone ahead for the morning session and he had completed his evidence. The words booze up and breweries come to mind.

Apparently the evidence given by Richard went over some of the facts at the previous hearing. He confirmed that we had been unaware of the mortgages until we registered our contracts and then no time had been wasted and that all of us had investigated the situation, negotiated with the builder and then instructed Advocates to take legal action.

Richard stressed £41,000 of mortgages had been taken without our knowledge and consent and made much of the usury interest 80% per quarter compound, mentioning it many times. Allegedly Akan Kurşat stated that Eva McCluskey could not have been terrorised as she was dead. Now if this allegation is correct, please bear in mind I was not in the court at this time, it is outrageous. Eva may well be in poor health but she is, I am assured, very much alive. However on reflection, are we now being told it is okay to steal from the dead? Eva’s husband passed away around Christmas time last year.

Richard made us aware that there would be an afternoon session which was scheduled to start at 1.30 p.m.

Before I get to the afternoon session, two other interesting things happened in the courtyard. The first, the Advocate for Cyprus Today and Kibris Gazetesi told a member of our group that the case would be won in the court and not in the newspapers. Well I could be a grandmother and sucking eggs is something I enjoy (not). The second, we did observer two minutes silence at 12.00 noon to commemorate the 1st Anniversary of having our villas sold from under us.

The afternoon session started virtually on time. Abdurrahman Guney was immediately sworn in. As I do not speak Turkish I will summarise the translation I was given. Basically, Guney was swearing that the Bank did know about the properties at the time they gave the mortgage and he alleged they knew of our existence. Yuksel Yilmaz’s (landowner) name was mentioned many times and I gather that the Judge wanted to know where he was. Emails sent to owners before the mortgage, with photos, were entered into evidence to prove the existence of completed properties and indeed the purchasers. My understanding is that Akan Kurşat objected to this, because the sender of the email was a former employee of Kulaksiz Construction Limited, but the Judge allegedly over ruled him, twice. When challenged as to why he was helping the ex-pats he had got into such a mess, Guney admitted he had made a mistake and also claimed that he thought it was just a loan which Yilmaz intended to repay quickly. He admitted to being foolish in this instance. Guney allegedly went on to claim that not only were Akfinans totally aware of the provenance of the land they took as security (our land, our villas) but also sent out experts at the time to look at the Kulaksiz 5 site. Kurşat allegedly demanded the names of the experts from Guney who was unable to give them.

Hopefully, Cyprus Today will give a fuller version of events this Wednesday.

There is continuance of the hearing on Tuesday 14th June at 11.00 a.m. There may be more witnesses to be heard from both sides.

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