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Local Court orders British couple to demolish house in occupied Cyprus
2005-04-20 13:46:58

Nicosia, Apr 20 (CNA) -- Nicosia District Court has upheld a previous decision that ordered a British couple, living in Turkish occupied Cyprus, to demolish the luxurious villa they had built illegally on land, owned by a Greek Cypriot refugee.

''The Court, having heard at two separate hearings the positions of the two sides, decided to reject the claim by the British couple to annul its previous decision,'' said Constantinos Kantounas, lawyer of the Greek Cypriot refugee.

In November last year the Court ordered Linda and David Orams to demolish the house and pay compensation to Greek Cypriot Meletis Apostolides. The Court ruling was not enforced because of the Orams' appeal against it.

The Court rejected the Oramns' claims that it did not have legal jurisdiction over the northern Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus and that they had bought the land in good faith from Turkish Cypriots.

The British couple have indicated they would now appeal to the Supreme Court.

Kantounas has said that if the Supreme Court upholds the District Court decision, then the case may very well be moved to the High Court in Britain for execution.

The case was brought to the Court by Apostolides, from the village of Lapithos, west of Kyrenia, when having visited the occupied north saw the house the Orams had built on his land.

The internationally recognised government of Cyprus is prevented from exercising its jurisdiction in the northern part of the country because of the continuing military occupation by Turkey.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled in December 1996 that Turkey, by virtue of its military presence in northern Cyprus, exercises effective control on that part of the island and is therefore responsible for what happens there.

It also said that the Turkish Cypriot regime is a local administration subordinate to Turkey.

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