By George Psyllides
FORMER Laiki Bank strongman Andreas Vgenopoulos said on Friday he was suing the defunct lender’s administrator, claiming she defrauded a court and perjured herself when seeking an injunction that froze his assets.
The offences “were perpetrated to mislead the Nicosia district court into issuing an injunction against three natural and one legal entity, without there participation in the procedure,” a press statement said.
Vgenopoulos files his suit in Athens, Greece.
In June, the Nicosia district court issued an interim order freezing assets worth around €5.3 billion belonging to Vgenopoulos and two other people.
The interim court orders, which have a global reach, were secured by the administrator overseeing the resolution of Laiki, formerly the island’s second-biggest lender.
The court froze assets belonging to Vgenopoulos and former Laiki CEO Efthimios Bouloutas worth €3.79 billion and those belonging to former board member Kyriacos Magiras worth €1.5 billion.
It also banned Vgenopoulos’ Marfin Investment Group (MIG) Holdings SA from making any payments or transfers to the benefit of the three men.
Vgenopoulos added that defamation lawsuits were also filed against a reporter working for Politis newspaper and one at Haravghi.
Vgenopoulos is widely viewed as being responsible for Laiki’s eventual downfall, which started when it merged with Greece’s Marfin Egnatia bank.
He denies any wrongdoing.
“The people who consider Cyprus the centre of the world because it is the centre of their interests, have only succeeded in preventing me from speaking in public and saying what I know so that the real culprits behind the destruction of the Cypriot economy are uncovered,” Vgenopoulos said.
Vgenopoulos blames Cypriot authorities for the demise of the bank because they mistakenly accepted the EU-sanctioned write-down of Greek debt in October 2011.
The write-down proved costly.
Cyprus was forced to shut down Laiki 18 months later and impose massive losses on depositors in Bank of Cyprus second bank to keep it afloat and get €10 billion in aid from international lenders.