Brutal beating in Paralimni

Cyprus Mail front page January 16, 2008

A BRITISH property buyer was hospitalised for two days on Monday after allegedly being badly beaten by the developers with whom he is in dispute, his lawyer said yesterday.

Conor O’Dwyer, 38, who has widely publicised his case on youtube and on the website, was kicked in the kidneys and had his head stomped on, according to his lawyer Yiannos Georgiades.

O’Dwyer had already pressed charges over another alleged beating by the father and son developers in March 2006 while fighting his ongoing property case at court. They were later charged over the assault.

According to Georgiades, on Monday at around 11am O’Dwyer went to the disputed property in the Famagusta district to take pictures of changes to the area around the house to produce as evidence in the land wrangle.

“He thought the photos might prove important later,” said Georgiades.

Upon his arrival, the woman to whom the developers re-sold the house after unilaterally cancelling O’Dwyer’s contract and keeping £75,000 of his money, allegedly “made a phone call” and two men appeared shortly afterwards that O’Dwyer identified as the developers.

“Conor was forced out of his car. One stepped on his head and the other kicked him in the kidneys,” said Georgiades, adding that they also took his camera.

“He was bleeding and there was a crowd of mostly women screaming and shouting for them to stop. He was crying out for help and no one helped him.”

Georgiades said someone eventually called 112 and police showed up with an ambulance. A British woman also took pictures of what was going on, he said.

O’Dwyer was taken to Paralimni hospital and from there sent to Larnaca.

“He has head injuries, external bruising, internal pain in the kidney region and he is badly shaken,” said Georgiades.

Doctors decided to keep him in until today to run tests and X-rays.

Georgiades said he had spoken to police about the incident. “They said they were investigating the ‘accident’,” said Georgiades. “I told them it wasn’t an accident. They didn’t arrest anyone but they did take statements.”

Georgiades said he spoke yesterday with a senior officer at Famagusta CID who said they were dealing with the case. O’Dwyer gave a statement to police yesterday afternoon from his hospital bed.

Cyprus Mail January 16, 2008
Cyprus Mail January 16, 2008

The senior officer dealing with the case, George Economou, told the Cyprus Mail yesterday police would take statements from all concerned and decide if there was a case to press charges.

“Conor is just giving his statement now,” said Economou. Asked if there would be any arrests, he said he would know more today. “It depends on the investigation,” he said.

Georgiades said he has also informed the British High Commission.

With regard to the previous assault case against the developers, Georgiades said the charges had been dropped by the Attorney-general ostensibly because O’Dwyer had not shown up for a hearing.

But the lawyer said when the last hearing was due, O’Dwyer, who lives in the UK, had been told by prosecutors not to bother coming to Cyprus because the hearing would likely be adjourned.

“He didn’t come and on the day of the court case, the prosecutor said the judge wouldn’t give an adjournment so the proceedings against the two men would be stayed”.

O’Dwyer is now entering the third year of his property saga.

He and his wife were going to buy a house on a development in Frenaros village. However when they viewed the construction area when the project was coming along, they realised the surrounding homes were not those specified in the original plan.

This would have resulted in a total lack of privacy as two balconies on other properties would have been looking into their garden. O’Dwyer has said the reason they had chosen the site in the first place was for the privacy that was promised.

After several run-ins with the developers over the changes to the surrounding area, and although the house is registered to them at the Land Registry given they had paid for most of it, the O’Dwyers subsequently discovered that the developers had sold it to another British family, who now reside there. The O’Dwyers have not received their money back.

When O’Dwyer launched his story on youtube video, backed up by documents and taped conversations with the developers and their lawyers, Interior Minister Christos Patsalides ordered an investigation in August last year, but no results have been forthcoming.

By Jean Christou
(archive article – Wednesday, January 16, 2008)
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2008