BRITISH home buyer Conor O’Dwyer will begin a three-day protest outside one Britain’s biggest property fairs in a move that could seriously damage the lucrative industry in Cyprus.
O’Dwyer, 38, told the Cyprus Mail yesterday that he and his wife would protest outside The Homebuyer & Property Investor Show at ExCeL London, which begins today and runs until Sunday. They will distribute leaflets warning people of the pitfalls of buying a home in Cyprus, he said.
The fair usually attracts around 15,000 prospective home buyers and numerous Cypriot developers will be represented among the 250 stands.
“I said if my recent trip to Cyprus didn’t bear any fruit that I planned to stage a protest,” O’Dwyer said. “There will be many estate agents there and all of the property magazines”.
In his leaflet O’Dwyer says Cyprus is a beautiful country with lovely people but is being spoilt by greedy developers and unscrupulous lawyers. He outlines the basics of the ongoing case he has with a Cypriot development company, which are detailed in full on his website lyingbuilder.com and on YouTube.
The British ex-soldier spent a week in Larnaca hospital in January after he was beaten up in Frenaros when he went to take pictures of the house he had bought and over which later came into dispute with the developers.
He says they unilaterally cancelled his contract and kept his money, some £75,000 sterling because he had pulled them up over what he saw as a violation of the terms of the contract. The case is pending at court. The developers have accused O’Dwyer of allegedly masterminding a plan to extort a newer, more expensive property, and exorbitant damages from the company.
They have, however, been charged by police in connection with the attack on O’Dwyer in Frenaros, but the case has yet to reach the courts. “My case has been treated disgustingly by the CID in Paralimni,” O’Dwyer said yesterday. “They charged them with the lesser crime of actual bodily harm when it was clearly grievous bodily harm because I spent six days in hospital.”
O’Dwyer said he has been left with little choice now other than protesting in the UK as he has managed to get nowhere towards solving his case in Cyprus over the past three years.
He and dozens of other buyers, stung by developers in Cyprus, are also planning a later demonstration outside the Cypriot High Commission in London, possibly during a visit there by new President Demetris Christofias who has been invited to London by Downing Street.
In a written statement issued later yesterday, O’Dwyer said he had been “saddened by the outrageous lack of action taken by the Cypriot authorities” in both the assault case and the property dispute.
“Throughout the case, the authorities have reacted indifferently and unsympathetically,” he said.
“This protest outside The Homebuyer & Property Investor Show in London will be the first of many.”
By Jean Christou
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