Hearings before the Nicosia criminal court in the second case brought by the state against Bank of Cyprus (BoC) have again been adjourned, to September 25.
The adjournment is pending the Supreme Court’s consideration of an application filed by the defendants for a certiorari – a writ or order by which a higher court reviews a case tried in a lower court.
On April 7 of this year, the criminal court issued an interim decision rejecting all the pre-trial motions put forward by the defence, after the prosecution had amended the charge sheet.
The defendants’ lawyers disagreed with the decision, filing an application for a cert with the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court has agreed to consider the application, and will be deciding whether to grant a cert.
On June 1, the defendants entered a not-guilty plea after the court rejected a motion to postpone the case.
The case concerns BoC’s acquisition of Greek government bonds and the lender’s failure to inform its shareholders of the risks of such an investment, which eventually cost the lender billions in losses.
The defendants in the case are BoC as a legal entity, and six former officials – former CEOs Andreas Eliades and Yiannis Kypri, non executive vice chairman Andreas Artemi, and non executive board members Giorgos Georgiades, Costas Severis and Costas Hadjipapas.
The charge sheet includes six charges – four against all seven concern market manipulation as regards the acquisition of Greek government bonds. Eliades faces two charges of perjury in connection with his testimony before an investigating committee that probed the collapse of the economy.
The trial started on December 2, 2015.
So far, three criminal cases have been filed against the lender.
The third case was filed in January of this year against top bank officials, former and current, concerning the reclassification of the bank’s bond holdings.