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Cyprus

Trial of former CBC boss adjourned for three months

Christodoulos Christodoulou (right) Photo: Christos Theodorides)

By George Psyllides

The trial of former Central Bank governor Christodoulos Christodoulou has been adjourned for three months to give time to the sides to look into the possibility of agreeing on certain facts relating to the case.

Christodoulou was charged in May in connection with a €1 million cash transfer from a Greek ship-owner to a company managed by his daughter.

Along with Christodoulou, prosecutors also charged his daughter Athena, and his former son-in-law Andreas Kizourides.

The three pleaded not guilty to the 11 charges, which include conspiracy to commit felony and forgery.

The court adjourned for September 26 allowing the two sides to look into whether they could agree on certain facts and possibly save some time.

The charges are linked with a document submitted to a Marfin-Laiki Bank branch in Athens, which stated that Kizourides had sold the daughter’s company two plots of land in Strovolos for €1.1 million.

The letter was allegedly written to enable the transfer of the €1 million, which had been deposited in the company’s account in Greece, to an account belonging to Kizourides in Cyprus.

The former CBC boss has previously claimed that the money was a down payment for consultancy services that would have been provided over ten years to Focus, a company belonging to Michalis Zolotas.

Christodoulous also submitted a copy of an agreement between his daughter’s company and Focus.

Zolotas is said to be an associate of former Laiki strongman Andreas Vgenopoulos whom many hold responsible for the collapse of the island’s banking system.

The transfer in question was allegedly made to the company’s Athens-based bank account in July 2007.

Around two years later, the €1 million plus interest was then allegedly transferred to an account in Laiki Bank.

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

Vgenopoulos has said that Zolotas was not his associate.

In a statement issued in May, Vgenopoulos said Zolotas was not his friend and nor an associate, as Cypriot media had reported, and that the ship-owner had ties with Laiki long before he came onto the scene.

Vgenopoulos said he had asked Zolotas to issue a statement to clarify his relation with him and explain his acts to the Cypriot people, but the Greek ship-owner had refused.

 

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