By Angelos Anastasiou
FORMER Central Bank Governor Christodoulos Christodoulou lashed out yesterday against press reports that ten charges would be brought against him relating to the suspicious transfer of €1 million from a Greek ship-owner to a company managed by the former central banker’s daughter.
In a written statement, Christodoulou also pointed an accusing finger at Attorney-general Costas Clerides, who he claimed failed to protect him from slanderous allegations published against him, despite the AG’s recent position that naming suspects in the investigation of the banking scandal that led to the failure of former Laiki Bank and the crippling of Bank of Cyprus, the island’s two major lenders, should be avoided.
Clerides was responding to the public outcry caused when the House Ethics committee published the findings of its year-long investigation on the scandal, only to refrain from naming any names, which he said could “harm the case built against any suspects, and breach the concept of presumed innocence by incriminating people prior to a fair trial.”
“I wonder why he (the Attorney-general) did not offer me the same protection, as well, but instead idly watched my slandering, trial and conviction in newspapers, the media and even a House committee,” his statement said.
“Why did he assume this selectively favourable attitude towards others while allowing my provocative victimisation?” Christodoulou asked.
He also questioned the existence of the charge sheet, recently published by daily Politis and allegedly including ten charges to be filed against Christodoulou.
“The media has repeatedly mentioned my name and published a charge sheet which, thus far, I have not received,” he said.
“I have seen it in the papers,” he added, “but if that is, in fact, the charge sheet, it further confirms the denigration and slandering of my honour and my name, with the silent tolerance of the competent authorities.”
Christodoulou argued that the allegations thrown at him in the press – including alleged bribery, money-laundering and corruption – are nowhere to be found in the published charge sheet, implying that this points to fabricated accusations.
“The reason is simple: the allegations against me were groundless,” he said.
The former governor signed off the statement with what might be construed as an ultimatum to his accusers.
“It goes without saying that I reserve all my legal rights,” he concluded.
Christodoulou had served as Governor of the Central Bank of Cyprus from 2002 to 2007, and the suspicious transfer was reportedly made a few months after his term expired. Although he has gone on record claiming that the money paid to his daughter’s company represented consultancy fees for ten years, he failed to address the question of why the account was reportedly opened under his own name.