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New Attorney General sworn in
2005-05-11 12:24:25

Nicosia, May 11 (CNA) - New Attorney General of the Republic of Cyprus Petros Clerides was sworn in today, assuring that he would safeguard the interests of the Republic and its people, in accordance to the Law.

Speaking during the swearing-in ceremony at the Presidential Palace, Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos said the high office of the Attorney General was vested with powers granted by the Constitution and was the guardian of the legitimacy of the state and of the freedom, the rights and the dignity of the citizens.

Papadopoulos appointed Petros Clerides last week in succession to Solon Nikitas, who resigned over a disagreement with a Supreme Court decision on the case of former Health Minister Constantina Akkelidou, who was cleared of charges of interfering with the course of justice.

''The Attorney-General is neither a punisher nor an avenger of the citizens. The Attorney General is the guardian of their individual and human rights,'' Clerides said.

He added that he will try to promote the government's programme, seeking practical solutions, serving the people but always within the Law.

Speaking at the ceremony, Papadopoulos said the state would not intervene in the Attorney-General's duties, adding that the President of the Republic has a particularly important responsibility in the appointment of the Attorney General.

''The government is responsible for promoting and safeguarding good governance, transparency and equality before the law,'' Papadopoulos said, adding that promoting public interest, safeguarding the law, protecting the people from every form of abuse by the authorities and respecting democratic institutions are central to the government's decisions and actions.

Papadopoulos said that legal procedures in Cyprus must be aligned to European Union laws and regulations, as the country's accession to the EU calls for.

''This is not an option. This is a matter of necessity, it is our obligation to do,'' the President concluded.

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