Cyprus has denied a press report that its president Tassos Papadopoulos was implicated in missing Serbian fund during Milosevic era, saying all the claims are groundless.
"Arbitrary efforts to link Tassos Papadopoulos' name to the issue of Serbian capital during the Milosevic era is a trite attempt to serve political motives that truth and reality dooms to failure," the Cyprus Weekly Friday quoted government spokesman Christodoulos Pashardis as saying.
According to an investigation by a United Nations tribunal, 4 billion U.S. dollars of Serbian government were estimated to be moved through Cyprus to bypass sanctions during the 1990s. Some of the funds were used to buy weapons, equipment and fuel to pursue wars in Bosnia and Kosovo.
Cypriot daily Alithia reported that eight offshore Serbian companies were used in siphoning of the state money, and all of them were registered as "trading corporations" in Cyprus by the president Tassos Papadopoulos' law firm.
But government spokesman Pashardis rebutted, "If a law firm's work in registering companies is considered a crime and is proof of guilt, then I wonder where this criminal action stops and who is without guilt since dozens if not hundreds of law firms in Cyprus are legally involved in registering foreign companies."
He claimed that Cypriot authorities have worked "harmoniously" with Serbian officials to trace the missing cash and they were grateful for Cyprus' assistance in probing the matter.