Cyprus Mail
Cyprus

CBC Governor’s daughter quits law firm to end ‘conflict’ saga

Central bank chief Chrystalla Georghadji

By George Psyllides

MARIANNA Georghadji, daughter of the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) governor, has quit the family law firm embroiled in conflict of interest allegations.

In a brief statement late on Thursday, she said she was leaving the firm while insisting that in her opinion “no conflict of interest whatsoever exists.”

She would cut off all her ties to the law firm, she added.

The surprise announcement seemed to put an end to the saga involving herself and her mother, Chrystalla Georghadji, who heads up the Central Bank.

It came within hours of a terse statement issued by the law office belonging to the centralbanker’s former husband, charging that the truth was distorted as regards their relation and claims of conflict of interest.

The firm, Andreas Georghadjis Ltd, said there was an effort by certain mass media to hurt the CBC governor by suggesting that their representation of former Laiki strongman Andreas Vgenopoulos created a conflict of interest because of the presence of her daughter, Marianna, at the law firm.

The firm said that it being targeted because of its relation to Vgenopoulos could be hurting its clients’ interests.

“Only in this case will we examine the possibility of withdrawing,” it said.

The company said it had been hired by Vgenopoulos in December 2012 to handle Marfin Investment Group cases, none of which were against the Republic and CBC.

It said that it neither handled the dispute between MIG or 18 other Laiki shareholders, including Vgenopoulos, against the Republic, which has gone to international arbitration.

In an earlier written statement, the firm said the cases are being handled by Andreas Georghadjis and Nicolas Thrasyvoulou.

“Marianna Georghadji has no involvement whatsoever in these cases,” it added.

Marianna joined the firm in January 2014. It is said that she did so because her father is suffering from a serious illness.

Georghadji was appointed CBC governor in April this year, following the resignation of Panicos Demetriades.

The firm said she had nothing to do with them, nor did she have any dealings with the company when she was Auditor-general.

“On the contrary, the Governor does not preside over the resolution authority when it discusses cases that concern Andreas Georghadjis Ltd, to eliminate any claims about conflict of interest.”

As an example of the “scale of the distortion of the facts and twisting of the truth,” the company said, a DIKO spokesperson claimed that Vgenopoulos had transferred the case to Georghadjis from the law office that Marianna used to work for, after she moved.

The matter emerged a couple of months ago but it became the focus when President Nicos Anastasiades launched a scathing attack against her for the alleged removal of wording in her contract pertaining to conflict of interest arising from blood relatives, and accusing her of lying about encounters she claimed to have had with him.

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