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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Officers forced to retire may not receive compensation ]

Officers forced to retire may not receive compensation

THE ARMY officers who appealed the government’s decision to force them into early retirement in 2006 may be left without compensation, Parliament heard yesterday.

Explaining the February 5 Supreme Court ruling for the appeals, deputy Attorney-general Akis Papasavvas yesterday told the House Defence Committee that there were two basic ways for the ruling to be interpreted.

Either the Highest Vetting Body for the military should reconvene and reassess the officers, so as to offer proper justifications for the reasons why they were discharged. Or, the Body should deem the dismissals wrongful and return some or all of the 60 officers back to their posts. This will mean they will receive their salaries for the time that has elapsed.

The Body, consisting of the Health, Justice and Defence Ministers along with the National Guard Chief, has been put in charge of re-investigating the matter.

Speaking after the meeting, Papasavvas explained that the court ruled that the dismissals were unjustified and there had not been a satisfactory investigation before they had taken place.

The Supreme Court decision, he added, was simple: it called on the appropriate Body to convene and re-examine the dismissals.

“If during the re-examination it is decided that the officers’ forced early retirement was incorrect, the former officers will have to be compensated,” Papasavvas said. However he added, “If a body re-examines the action and repeats it without making mistakes, following a correct investigation and accompanying it with correct excuses, there will not be an issue of compensations”.

Committee Chairman Yiannakis Omirou of EDEK called on the government to avoid entering complicated court reasoning and take into consideration the officers’ years of contribution to the country.

The Supreme Court decision taken on February 5 initially concerned 61 cases but one of the officers has since died. The Court ruled that the discharges were “illegal and inexcusable”.

The 61 appeals were filed concurrently, and for practical reasons the Supreme Court chose to randomly select one so any decision taken on that would apply for the remaining group, now numbering 59.

The Court ruled that the National Guard either take them back or compensate them.

Up until today, the government has spent €24 million to compensate those forced into early retirement for the years 2002, 2003 and 2004, and is expected to pay €10 million for 2005 and 2006.



(Source: Cyprus Mail)
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2008 Please contact Cyprus Mail for the copyright terms of this article.



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