Lobby for Cyprus is a non-party-political human rights organisation campaigning for a reunited Cyprus.
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Media Watch 2005

02 June 2005
Source: Cyprus Weekly
Author:
Comment: The following editorial appeared in the Cyprus Weekly of Nicosia on 2 June 2005.
Shocking revelation over refugees’ right of return
"Didier Pfirter, the Swiss legal adviser to Alvaro de Soto during the drafting of the Annan Plan, disputed the right of the Greek Cypriot refugees to return and to regain their properties... What is remarkable about this claim is that Wildhaber made this statement at a time when the case of Cyprus against Turkey was about to be heard by the Court."

Didier Pfirter, the Swiss legal adviser to Alvaro de Soto during the drafting of the Annan Plan, disputed the right of the Greek Cypriot refugees to return and to regain their properties.

He claimed that his view was based on what he was told by none other than Luzius Wildhaber, the President of Human Rights Court of the Council of Europe!

What is remarkable about this claim is that Wildhaber made this statement at a time when the case of Cyprus against Turkey was about to be heard by the Court.

This shocking revelation is made by Prof. Claire Palley, the legal adviser to the Cyprus government, in her just published book: ``An International debacle - the UN Secretary-General’s Mission of Good Offices in Cyprus 1999-2004".

Prof. Palley makes the following comment on the Pfirter’s position and the involvement of of the President of the Rights Court:

"Mr Pfirter disputed the rights to property and to return of refugees and the opinion of ten leading jurists on these issues, to which he was referred by the winter. When challenged, he claimed that he had discussed the matter in Strasbourg with members of the European Court of Human Rights, who had indicated that Loizidou v. Turkey was not binding on the new Court and might well not be followed. The writer queried the propriety of talking to judges who would have to hear the case of Cypus v. Turkey, which had just been reported on by the Commission and was clearly destined for the Grand Chamber. Mr Pfirter thereupon quickly changed tack, claiming that this had just come up when he called on his former academic and diplomaic seniors. Strasbourg seems a long way to go for a social chat, in which discussing sub judice matters likely to be involved was, as any lawyer knows, not proper conduct".

Wildhaber is named in the index of the book as being one of the members of the Court to which Pfirter referred."