Fake jab doctor pleads not guilty

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A Larnaca doctor accused of issuing fake COVID-19 vaccination cards to his patients pleaded not guilty to 12 counts of fraud and will stand trial in April.

The 53-year-old Larnaca cardiologist, also acting as a GP, was prosecuted after evidence emerged; he handed out fake vaccination certificates for anti-vaxxers, two of whom later died from coronavirus.

He was released on €50,000 bail, with the trial at the Larnaca criminal court set for 11 April.

The Larnaca doctor has surrendered all his travel documents and placed on the stop list.

Appearing before a Larnaca court on Tuesday, the doctor pleaded not guilty to 12 charges of conspiracy to defraud, forging an official document, circulation of a forged document, registration by false representations and false entries in records or other documents of the Health Insurance Organisation (HIO).

All charges relate to two patients of his who lost their lives to COVID-19.

Six of the charges relate to one of his patients who passed away after being treated at an Intensive Care Unit in Famagusta General.

Before the patient died, he had confided to nursing staff that he was not vaccinated despite holding a COVID-19 certificate.

Relatives have also said he was unvaccinated.

The other six charges are related to a second patient who died at Famagusta General.

The second man reportedly confirmed to medical staff that he had been carrying a fake vaccination card.

The case of the doctor allegedly issuing fake vaccination cards was first reported to authorities on 31 July by the father of a 41-year-old male COVID-19 patient treated at Famagusta General ICU.

The patient had to be intubated, with medical staff unable to save his life.

Although he was registered as vaccinated, he had not received a COVID-19 jab.

The man appeared in the General Health System’s records as vaccinated by the Larnaca doctor.

A few days later, another COVID-19 patient, aged 44, lost his life to coronavirus, despite holding a vaccination card.

According to records, the two men were supposedly vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine at the doctor’s office.

Reportedly, the GP had vaccinated 102 of his patients with the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

A valid vaccination certificate is one of the requirements for people to obtain Safe Pass documents granting them access to hospitality, shops and other venues.