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UK Couple In Northern Cyprus Property Dispute Can Keep Home

by Lorys Charalambous, for LawAndTax-News.com, Cyprus

08 September 2006


British couple David and Lynda Orams on Wednesday welcomed a High Court decision which - at least for the moment - will allow them to keep both their UK home and their retirement villa in Turkish-controlled Northern Cyprus.

The Orams, represented by the wife of the UK Prime Minister, Cherie Booth QC, purchased the land in the so-called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) four years ago, and spent their savings on building a villa there.

However, the occupier of the land prior to the Turkish invasion in 1974, Meletios Apostolides, challenged their right to the land, and called on the Orams to either demolish the villa and hand back the land, or to hand over their own Sussex home.

Mr Apostolides was successful in his claim, and a Greek Cypriot court ordered the return of the land to him, a verdict which was upheld by the UK's High Court in November 2005.

However, the High Court on Wednesday backed an appeal lodged by the couple, and ordered Apostolides to pay three-quarters of their legal costs.

Mr and Mrs Orams welcomed the verdict, announcing in a statement that:

"The judgement allows others in the same position to invest in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus without the threat of enforcement of judgements rendered in the Republic of Cyprus in the EU."

However, the dispute is unlikely to be over yet, as Mr Apostolides has been granted the right to appeal the High Court's most recent decision.


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