The Cypriot government responded on Saturday to an OCCRP investigation from Aug. 14. Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou described the report as “libel” and said “it did not correspond to reality.” The story reported that a law firm established and co-owned at the time by Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades facilitated transactions with companies that are part of the Troika Laundromat, a secretive financial vehicle that has been used to carry out financial crimes.
Libel is defined as inaccurate information that defames a person. But the report cannot constitute libel, as it relates only facts backed by documented evidence. We stand by our reporting.
The OCCRP story in question reports that:
(a) the law firm established by Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades in the 1970s, of which he was a co-owner until February 2013, and of which his two daughters are now shareholders
(b) facilitated transactions carried out by Batherm Ventures Limited and Matias Co. Limited, with Delco Networks S.A. and Gotland Industrial Inc., companies that were major players in the Troika Laundromat,
(c) which, in turn, is known to be a Russian-controlled financial vehicle that has been used to carry out financial crimes, including money laundering, tax evasion, bribes, and concealment of assets, many for senior leaders of politics and business in Russia.
(d) Mr. Anastasiades was a partner in the firm at the time these transactions took place.
(e) All the above are facts documented in the story and past OCCRP reports.
As a professional news organization, OCCRP takes accuracy extremely seriously. As with all our investigations, this story went through a rigorous fact-checking process. If any facts reported in the story are found to be in error, OCCRP will make the necessary correction. No one has denied any of these facts, and all are supported with documents OCCRP obtained.
Both Mr. Anastasiades and the law firm, including every single one of its shareholders, were offered an opportunity to comment on the findings of the investigation several weeks ahead of publication. None of them opted to do so.