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12 August 2011 Gary Robb is Charged  
06 August 2011 Gary Robb Show Trial  
17 July 2011 Gary Robb will be extradited to Cyprus  
10 November 2009 Gary Robb may avoid trial in UK  
16 August 2009 Gary Robb Customers Face Eviction  
30 January 2009 Gary Robb is Extradited / Deported  
10 February 2008 Gary Robb - The Aga Saga  

06 August 2011 - Gary Robb Show Trial

The Greek Cypriot authorities of the Republic of Cyprus have successfully applied for Gary Robb to the extradited from the UK to Cyprus. On 4 August 2011, the Greek Cypriot Court in Nicosia remanded him in custody for 8 days.

There are a number of possible charges under investigation by the Greek Cypriot police. These include obtaining money under false pretences, the unlawful use of property belonging to other persons, and conspiracy to defraud.

However, Mr Robb is a pawn in a larger game, namely the enmity between the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus, the TRNC, and the internationally recognised Greek Cypriot Republic of Cyprus, the ROC. The TRNC administers the north of the island, and the ROC administers the south. Nicosia, in the centre of the island, is a divided city.

The TRNC authorities have attempted to facilitate progress towards a resolution of the unfinished construction at Arapkoy, but every effort has failed for a variety of different reasons. Meanwhile, the matter has continued to be a source of embarrassment to the TRNC authorities due to the large number of expatriate buyers who have been badly treated by Aga Developments Ltd.

Many commentators have expressed an element of surprise at the desire of the Greek Cypriots to mount a show trial and also at the cooperation of the UK government in extraditing Gary Robb to the Greek Republic of Cyprus. This is because Mr Robb's company worked exclusively in North Cyprus and not in that part of Cyprus which is administered by the Greek Cypriot authorities.

It appears that the land on which Aga Developments Ltd began to construct properties has the benefit of TRNC title deeds, and also planning permission. In addition, the TRNC established the Immovable Properties Commission in order to provide a remedy for dispossessed Greek Cypriots who fled North Cyprus during the conflict of 1974 and were forced to abandon their land and property. This Property Commission has been recognised by the European Court of Human Rights and the ECHR has directed all claims by disposed Greek Cypriots to the Immovable Property Commission.

In view of this, it is difficult to see what the trial of Gary Robb by the Greek Cypriot Court could possibly achieve. It will not facilitate the return of land or grant compensation to any disposed Greek Cypriot.

However, any trial will attract publicity and will allow the Greek Cypriot authorities to point to malpractice in property dealings in North Cyprus. This will serve its aim of undermining the credibility of the TRNC authorities and detract attention from the land scandals in the Greek Republic of Cyprus

There are other interesting possibilities –

1.  We hear that the Greek Cypriot police may have started contacting British customers of Aga Developments Ltd in order to collect witness statements.

2.  One Greek Cypriot construction company has been approached by the Greek Cypriot authorities and asked to provide an opinion on the physical state of the unfinished properties.

3.  The UK Serious Organised Crime Agency, SOCA, is holding funds confiscated from Mr Robb, in the sum of some 1.6 million GBP. We understand that the Greek Cypriot authorities have been in discussion with SOCA.

One should never underestimate the ingenuity and cunning of the Greek Cypriots. They are the descendants of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle and possess impressive intellectual talents.

A show trial of Gary Robb could assist the Greek Cypriot authorities to assert its claim to the entire island of Cyprus and be used to demonstrate its concern for the ongoing plight of the British customers of Aga Developments Ltd.

It is also conceivable that the Greek Cypriot Court could issue an order that the Arapkoy properties be completed and then petition SOCA for funds to make this possible.

Such an outcome would place the TRNC in a difficult position. On the one hand, the injection of new funds and the prospect to an end of the embarrassment of Gary Robb's construction project at Arapkoy/Kepini, would be welcome. However, the prospect of any Greek Cypriot involvement in the resolution of what is known as the 'Aga Saga' would be anathema to the TRNC authorities.

As ever, the prospect of Greeks bearing gifts should be treated with caution. Virgil's phrase ‘ Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes' with reference to the gift of the Trojan Horse resonates down through the ages.

While such a proposal would well receive ecstatic approval from the long suffering British customers of Gary Robb and Aga Developments Ltd, it remains highly unlikely that the show trial, and any outcome, will bring any practical help to the aggrieved British customers. Rather, it will create a wave of negative publicity towards the TRNC and this alone will be a satisfactory outcome for the Greek Cypriot authorities.

There are many contradictory reports concerning Mr Gary Robb, and we apologise for any inaccuracies

Leslie Hardy © 6 August 2011

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