Pauline Read in Cyprus Today on Saturday 16th October 2010

Ian Shepherd of Cyprus Today wrote this article about Pauline’s alleged summons for contempt of court:

“A PROPERTY rights campaigner has had her computer confiscated and will face police charges over comments she wrote on a website about a long-running court case.

Pauline Read has been charged with insulting Girne District Court and a prosecution lawyer in the Geoffrey Day case, which is expected to have its 59th hearing next week.

Mrs Read, 65, was summoned to Girne police station on Thursday and told a complaint had been filed against her over a report she wrote on the case which was published by the North Cyprus Free Press website on Monday.

Four police officers then accompanied Mrs Read and her partner Chris Smith, 60, to their home in Edremit, where her computer — which was used to write and store the court report — was confiscated.

Mrs Read is among a group of mainly elderly Britons whose properties were forcibly auctioned to pay off loans taken out, without their knowledge, on the Kulaksiz 5 development in Karşiyaka by its developer Abdurrahman Guney and landowner Ytiksel

No effort was made to repay the loans — which creditor Akfinans Bank said amounted to around two million Turkish lira after it applied 80 per cent quarterly compound interest.

Nine of the group, including Mrs Read, have now appealed to the European Court of Human Rights to step in and prevent their eviction.

Mrs Read was among supporters of Mr Day during his numerous appearances before Girne District Court where he faces charges, first brought in August 2008, of stealing construction materials from his builder Ahmet Recaioğlu and damaging a sign-board.

Mr Day has consistently denied theft and criminal damage, counter¬claiming that Mr Recaioğlu brought the case in a bid to blackmail him into paying a disputed £24,463 bill and dropping a civil case seeking compensation for allegedly leaving his Ozanköy villa unfinished.

Mrs Read’s accounts of the ongoing case were regularly posted on North Cyprus Free Press with updates on the Kulaksiz 5 campaign and calls for a peaceful candle-lit vigil to highlight all property problems in the TRNC.

Mrs Read obtained a court judgement against Kulaksiz Construction in November last year for repayment of the £96,200 she paid for her bungalow in 2005, plus costs and compensation amounting to a total of £120,000.

The judge made the award after agreeing that the property had not been completed according to contract — but so far she has not received a penny and therefore still considers herself owner of the property because the judgement pre-dated its auction.

Speaking yesterday, Mr Day said: “Although I cannot discuss any specifics to do with my case outside the court, I would like to say how much I have always admired the courage and tenacity of Mrs Read.

“Apart from fighting her own battles she has helped expose the property nightmare that many of us are having to live through when we wanted nothing more than to buy a home in North Cyprus and spend our twilight years here.”

Girne police said yesterday a summons was expected to be served on Mrs Read next week with a date for her to appear before Girne District Court on charges of insulting the court and a prosecuting lawyer.The editor of North Cyprus Free Press, Malcolm Channing, was in the UK this week and unavailable for comment.

I really did not have any comment on Pauline’s exercise of free speech which turns out not to be legal in the TRNC. I have been informed that as the court is not recognised outside of the TRNC, apart from by Turkey, then Pauline’s comments on NCFP are legal where published, i.e. in the USA and even in the UK, contrary to the information given by some legally qualified informants. However, I now understand that the comments were deemed to be offensive to the TRNC legal profession and for that reason will not be publishing similar articles again. On the other hand, NCFP would be seen as being a puppet to the TRNC if we did not allow private individuals to comment on NCFP as they saw fit, within USA law restrictions, just as we have allowed Greek Cypriot sympathisers to comment negatively against the TRNC and Turkish Cypriots against the RoC.

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