Lobby for Cyprus is a non-party-political human rights organisation campaigning for a reunited Cyprus.
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09 December 2010
US class action events on behalf of Cypriots a resounding success
Representatives of UK-based Cypriot refugee associations attended a workshop with US attorney Athan Tsimpedes on the class action he is pursuing through the US courts.

The class action is on behalf of Cypriots who are being denied their rights as a result of the Turkish invasion and occupation of the northern part of Cyprus.

The meeting held on Monday 6 December concluded Athan Tsimpedes’ very successful six day visit to London. In collaboration with Lobby for Cyprus and the support of many associations, the event exceeded all expectations. Mr Tsimpedes raised the hopes of many refugees or their decedents from the first, second and even third generations, who turned up in droves, asking questions and showing a real interest in his lawsuit. The US class action events started in London with a seminar on Friday 3 December which attracted many British Cypriots determined to find out more details on how to join the mass action.

Mr Tsimpedes demonstrated how the so-called 'TRNC' is an illegal commercial enterprise that can be sued in the US. He said “it disguises itself through the use of its representatives as businessmen and not diplomats to avoid detection. The so-called 'ambassador' of the 'TRNC' in Washington DC has obtained a B1 business visa – a certificate of occupancy defining the occupant as a business. A letter from the US State Department states that the representative has no diplomatic status and does not recognise his passport because the 'TRNC' is not a recognised country”.

Mr Tsimpedes' presentations included the newest development that the 'TRNC' is currently being investigated for tax evasion and other business improprieties including failing to pay payroll taxes and employee taxes despite its substantial operations in Washington DC.

Mr Tsimpedes has already achieved success in deterring the commercial enterprise as the 'TRNC' website for its Washington DC operations has been shut down. The importance of the pseudostate's involvement in the lawsuit cannot be overstated.

The lawsuit is also against HSBC bank and claims that it launders money to and from the illegally occupied territories in Cyprus, in furthering the fraudulent property scheme that duped British and other European nationals into buying such properties belonging to refugees. As Mr Tsimpedes has said, “only a sovereign nation can issue title” which the 'TRNC' is not. This puts at issue all the titled property illegally sold under the false 'TRNC' logo with the assistance of and through HSBC bank plc.

During his visit Mr Tsimpedes presented his arguments demonstrating the merits of the case and how UK-based residents and other nationals can join the class action with minimal risk. The lawsuit seeks compensation for loss of use with claimants maintaining ownership. This no-risk alternative, received substantial support as many British Cypriots applied to join the lawsuit after his talks and many more have taken application forms away to discuss with friends and family.

Mr Tsimpedes was also a guest at two other events organized by the UK-based refugee associations Rizokarpasso and Ayios Amvrosios where he met and addressed participants interested in the case.

Theo Theodorou, co-ordinator of Lobby for Cyprus, stated that Mr Tsimpedes has given hope and a new avenue to British Cypriots and all those affected by the invasion and atrocities committed by Turkey, to pursue the perpetrators and those benefiting from the suffering of the Cypriots through the US courts. He commented that the return of Mr Tsimpides to London as well as the massive response by the British Cypriots who attended in droves all the events during the last six days, is yet another indication that Cypriots are determined to do all in their power to safeguard their rights through the legal route and seek success where the politicians failed, over the last 36 years.

“This is a great opportunity, at minimal cost, for all Cypriots and those affected by the Turkish invasion of the Republic of Cyprus, to preserve their rights and to seek compensation for loss of use of their properties and for psychological damages for distress and suffering to them and their families, by joining this class action against Turkey and its illegal agents and collaborators such as HSBC bank” stated Mr Theodorou.

The programme of events was organised and co-ordinated by the NGO Lobby for Cyprus, which is now acting as a contact point for all those interested in joining the class action claim from the UK.