Gary John Robb – let the show begin

With their economy looking almost as shaky as Greece’s economy, with foreign investors shaking their heads and wondering, ‘is this the place to invest’, with credit rating agencies allegedly about to down grade their credit rating, what can the RoC do? Economist Spyros Episkopou the CEO of Epicentral Consultancy Limited voiced his fears for the future economic stability of the RoC in the Cyprus Mail.

In the past, Governments with such internal problems often united their populous by going to war. Nothing unites a country more than facing a common enemy. Worries about the economy are put on the back burner, the enemy is without, let’s all join in bloodying his nose.

In this day and age, a war is out of the question. It seems however, the freeing of Gary John Robb on parole, due this month, is the next best thing and could not have come at a more fortuitous time for the present Government of the RoC, uniting the populous against the common enemy, this time Gary John Robb seems to be ‘it’. Maybe putting Robb on trial in the RoC will unite the people, but it cannot make the economic problems disappear, nor indeed the property problems which are many times the number of those in the North.

The timetable for this fiasco of a trial is, as yet, unknown. We do know Mr Robb is due for release on parole on the 31st July 2011 according to one of the Aga victims. She has also alleged that Robb will be extradited within ten days of his release. Bearing in mind that Robb will almost certainly ask to be allowed bail whilst his trial date is being decided, which in my opinion he will not be given; we could be looking at a trial date sometime in September. My reasoning, the Government will still be under extreme pressure regarding the economy so the sooner the show begins, the sooner public attention will be focussed on the trial and the pressure will lessen. This ‘Show Trial’ will cost the country an enormous amount of money. Of course the media will descend on Nicosia bringing much needed revenue to the hotels, restaurants and shops with their presence.

Will this trial make the financial problems in the RoC go away? Of course not. Will convicting Gary John Robb of the 9 offences listed in the European Arrest Warrant help the victims who bought from Aga Developments Limited, of course not. Should Gary John Robb be facing these charges alone, of course not?

In my opinion, Gary John Robb should be facing charges together with his fellow shareholder and members of the Board of Directors of Aga Development Limited but not in the RoC. They should be facing charges in the TRNC. What these charges are should be decided after a full and comprehensive investigation of the Company by fully trained fraud squad officers who should be given full access to every document, every contract, all records especially the banking records and full restitution should be demanded for each and every victim of Aga Development Limited.

It is too easy for me to say that a man on the run should not have been given Citizenship, the fact is he was. Every facility was extended to him, he was allowed to form a company, it happened. How the company was allowed to fail so dismally with the buyers being the primary victims is something else for the fraud squad to investigate. Will any of this happen, of course not?

Pauline Read
Chartered Institute of Journalists

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