By John Kaponi
The veteran Cypriot politician and former president of the Republic of Cyprus Tassos Papadopoulos has died at the age of 74 with lung cancer. The former head of the DIKO party the Cypriot centre nationalist party played an instrumental part in the political life of Cyprus as a leading lawyer and politician with his famous instruction to Greek-Cypriot’s to vote no in the Annan UN plan in April 2004.
Papadopoulos was born on January 7, 1934 in Ayios Antonios suburb of Nicosia. His father, Nicolas, was a teacher and his mother Aggeliki was a housewife from the village of Assia. He was the first of three children. His sister Nitsa is 8 years younger and his brother Panos, 10 years younger. Papadopoulos spent his primary education at Ayios Kassianos and Elenio primary schools in Nicosia. He then attended secondary education at the Pancyprian Gymnasium. His father’s circle which included lawyers and judges, were influential on his future career and he went on to study law at King’s College London before becoming a barrister-at-law through Gray’s Inn.
Recently Papadopoulos instigated a libel action against the Financial Times when allegations were made that his law firm had made money transfers on behalf of the Yugoslav state bank through Greek Cypriot offshore companies set up by Mr Papadopoulos’s law firm in Nicosia.
The FT and Papadopoulos agreed in 1 December 2008 to withdraw the long-running libel suit against the Financial Times after mutual agreement on a statement agreed in court.
The statement, prepared by lawyers representing the parties, said: “In this action the plaintiffs complain of two articles in the FT published on 27.7.02 by which the defendants understand that the plaintiffs were distressed.
“The defendants published the articles in good faith and had no intention of inconveniencing anyone.”
The Nicosia district court ruled that each side would pay its own costs.
Mr Papadopoulos leaves his wife Fotini Papadopoulos four children Constantinos, Maria, Nikolas and Anasta.
The London Greek-Cypriot community will according to reports hold memorial services in the various Orthodox churches in memory of the late Tassos Papadopoulos.
photo credit: UN