Cyprus Mail

More financial collapse cases to come to court

Attorney General Costas Clerides

Criminal investigations into the collapse of the economy are ongoing and two more cases will be brought before the courts in the coming days, Attorney General Costas Clerides said on Tuesday.
Speaking on state television, Clerides acknowledged the slow pace at which investigations are proceeding, but said this was a given all along. Cyprus suffered an unprecedented banking collapse in March 2013, which, coupled with poor public finances, led the Cypriot economy into a sharp contraction from which the island has yet to recover.
In the aftermath of the economic disaster, the Attorney General’s office launched an investigation into any criminal liability of those involved in the meltdown.
“From the start, we said that results shouldn’t be expected soon,” Clerides said.
The first results were only seen last December, when five former Bank of Cyprus top officials were taken to court by the Attorney General’s office for misrepresenting the lender’s capital needs in 2012.
“A number of cases have already been brought to the courts, and in the coming days we hope that more will follow,” the Attorney General said.
Clerides blamed much of the delay on Cyprus’ antiquated legal framework.
“I can’t say it’s very helpful – in contrast with many other countries, which took the necessary measures and adjusted their legislation to facilitate investigation and evidencing of financial crime timely,” he said.
“We are at a point of transition, where we are identifying gaps that certainly need to be filled.”
Nonetheless, the Attorney General appeared confident that even with the limited tools at his disposal he will be able to get the job done.
“I have some weapons, and I will use them in every effort to achieve the desired results,” he said.

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