O’Dwyer assault case drags on into sixth month

Cyprus Mail front page 16 January 2008

THE CYPRUS Property Action Group (CPAG) has expressed outrage at a series of delays in the Conor O’Dwyer case, involving an alleged beating by the property developers with whom he is in dispute over a house purchase.

Father-of-two O’Dwyer, 39, has been jetting back and forth from England since January to be present at Paralimni court hearings, only to be faced with a series of obstacles and adjournments.

The case was brought by O’Dwyer after he claimed that a local developer, his son and another man beat him up following an incident outside a disputed house in early 2007. O’Dwyer spent a week in Larnaca hospital after the alleged attack.

CPAG spokesman Denis O’Hare told the Cyprus Mail that this case was politically loaded and being closely monitored by his organisation and interested parties.

“We are very frustrated; we see this as typical of the legal system here. Basically he has been beaten up…and to make matters worse he has now been assaulted by the legal system here,” he said.

Some legal commentators have expressed bewilderment that a straightforward assault case should be dragging on for so long and questioned why O’Dwyer has been forced to fly from the UK on six different occasions since January this year.

One criminal lawyer, who has been following the case, told the Cyprus Mail he was astounded by events at Paralimni Court.

“For an assault which lasted no more than 10 minutes to result in the complainant having to give nine days of testimony is simply ridiculous and unheard of. Furthermore, this man who is a foreigner, should be given court time priority and not treated in such a shameful way,” he said.

O’Dwyer says the incident has blighted his family life. He claims he purchased a house in the tiny village of Freneros in 2005 that was then was resold without his knowledge by the developers.

He claims the spat resulted in him losing the house and £100,000 he had paid for the property.

The problem started when O’Dwyer took issue with the developer because they were not sticking to the original plans for his house and garden.

Following a series of heated exchanges, O’Dwyer then contended that developers cancelled the contact, accusing him of not paying the next instalment.

He claims the developers then sold the house to someone else, telling him they were keeping his UK£75,000 for damages.

In a rare public statement last year, the developers accused O’Dwyer of allegedly masterminding a plan to extort a newer, more expensive property and exorbitant damages from the company.

O’Hare told the Cyprus Mail that the continuing setbacks of the O’Dwyer case just add more worry to the Cyprus property sector’s battered image.

“Whatever way this case goes, the ensuing publicity about the delays and so forth will do no good whatsoever for Cyprus and its image. We all want this fixed, it’s a shame“, he added.

Last year O’Dwyer began protesting about his plight outside the Cyprus High Commission, spending 74 nights sleeping in a tiny tent on the streets of London.

He widely publicised the details of his property dispute with the developers on YouTube and on the website lyingbuilder.com, however since the beginning of the court case he has ceased posting updates and refuses to talk to journalists.

The case has prompted a fierce debate on internet forums in both Cyprus and the UK, with many observers commenting that the proceedings need a “tidying up quickly“.

O’Dwyer’s lawyer Yiannos Georgiaides told the Cyprus Mail last night that: he had nothing to say until the case is over. O’Dwyer also refused to be drawn on the issue, but he is understood to be frustrated with the sluggish proceedings.

By: Nathan Morley Published: Tuesday 14th July 2009
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2009