Volunteerism Commissioner Yiannis Yiannaki has resigned after it was revealed he forged his academic qualifications, as corruption scandals become the focus of Sunday’s parliamentary elections.
Government Spokesperson Kyriacos Koushios said President Nicos Anastasiades accepted the resignation of Yiannis Yiannaki, Commissioner for Volunteerism and Non-Governmental Organizations.
He did not elaborate on the reasons behind the embarrassing resignation, but Yiannaki was expunged from social media accounts and the commission’s website on Wednesday.
Yiannaki’s resignation comes after reports he manipulated his high school diploma grades and included a fake college degree on his CV.
Website Philenews reported that the auditor general Odysseas Michaelides had spotted several indications that Yiannaki’s academic qualifications submitted for government appointment had been forged.
Cyprus police also confirmed Wednesday they have launched an investigation into the matter after receiving a letter from the AG’s office reporting possible offences.
According to the allegations, Yiannaki had edited his translated high school report card while also handing in a college degree which appears to be fake.
Photos leaked to the media allegedly show that Yiannaki had forged his school diploma card by changing numbers but not the words, such as turning the number Thirteen into 19 (out of 20) and Twelve into 17.
His grade average also appeared to have been modified on the certified transcript (photo).
The former commissioner’s degree from a US university also appears to be problematic.
Allegedly Yiannaki had submitted a paper copy of poor quality showing he had obtained a degree in 1992 from the United States.
However, according to Philenews, the degree bears the signatures of four officials who assumed their positions a good 20 years after Yiannaki had acquired the document he submitted.
The qualifications were used at the Youth Board of Cyprus (ONEK), where he was first appointed in 1996, securing a permanent job in 2007.
President Anastasiades appointed him commissioner in May 2013.
Auditor-General Odysseas Michaelides notes in his letter to the police that he looked into the case after receiving an anonymous complaint that Yiannaki did not have a university degree.
Michaelides had asked Yiannaki to provide his office with proof of acquiring a university degree, informing him that if doubts persist, police would be notified.
Yiannaki then sent in an English translation of his secondary school diploma with different grades to the one submitted to ONEK while sending in a University diploma which was again different to the one on record.
The Auditor-General has asked the police to investigate possible forgery of Yiannaki’s high school diploma and the possible forgery of two university degrees, including the one originally handed in and the second one sent later upon his request.
Michaelides asked police to investigate whether the crime of circulating fake documents and submitting forged information to his office was also committed.