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Business Cyprus

Former CBC governor released from jail (updated)

Archive photo Christodoulou (L) chatting with Vgenopoulos (R)

Former Central Bank governor Christodoulos Christodoulou was released from jail on Tuesday after serving a five-month sentence for tax evasion.

Christodoulou was jailed on October 27 after pleading guilty to tax offences relating to an undeclared €1 million cash transfer from a Greek shipowner in 2007.

He was also fined €13,500.

The former governor was released on Tuesday morning after spending four months behind bars.

According to the Prison Law, for every month served – if the sentence is between one month and two years – convicts get six days off their sentence.

Christodoulou, who led the Cypriot central bank for five years prior to his departure in 2007, had pleaded guilty to failing to declare revenue of a consultancy he jointly owned with his daughter.

After the case was brought to light, Christodoulou’s company filed proper tax forms for 2008, 2009 and 2010. The company also paid taxes on the one million received.

Christodoulou was charged with failing to report in a timely manner a revenue of €1 million from Zolotas’ Focus Maritime Corp.

He claimed the sum was an up-front payment for consultancy services for 10 years.

Christodoulou’s daughter Athina and her former husband, Andreas Kizourides, were also charged initially but were let off after the former CBC governor’s guilty plea.

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. Vgenopoulos has repeatedly rejected the connection.

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 transferred to an account in Laiki Bank.

Reports on Tuesday said Greek authorities have seized computers and documents from Zolotas’ home and Focus. They were acting on a request from Cypriot investigators trying to determine whether the money was indeed paid for services or something else, daily Politis newspaper said.

Cypriot authorities were also trying to dig up any evidence of a connection between Zolotas and Vgenopoulos.

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