Cyprus Mail

Vgenopoulos says his constitutional rights violated

Failed Laiki Bank’s former strongman Andreas Vgenopoulos claimed that being dropped by his lawyer in Cyprus was a gross violation of his constitutional rights.
Vgenopoulos, widely seen as being responsible for the bank’s collapse, was being represented by Andreas Georghadjis, the Central Bank governor’s estranged husband.
Georghadjis quit as Vgenopoulos’ lawyer on Monday to settle once and for all accusations of conflict of interest against the governor.
“Andreas Georghadjis’ forced resignation from handling my cases in Cyprus after two-and-a-half years of co-operation… is a flagrant violation of my constitutional rights and the human rights protected by the European Convention,” he said in a lengthy written statement.
Vgenopoulos said Cyprus was witnessing a merciless law of financial and political interests with the sides trading charges over who was to blame for dashing the expectations cultivated by the real culprits of the destruction of the Cypriot economy.
“It is obvious that the Republic of Cyprus’ looming defeat is already creating shockwaves and there is an effort by all those involved to avoid responsibility,” he said.
Vgenopoulos and 11 others, including his right-hand man Efthimios Bouloutas and Kyriakos Mageiras, as well as his investment group MIG, are defendants in a civil suit brought against them by legacy Laiki’s administrator, who claimed they abused their power in running Laiki.
It is alleged that they knowingly took imprudent banking decisions in favour of MIG or its subsidiaries – in which they simultaneously held high-ranking positions, creating an alleged conflict of interest – thus violating their fiduciary duty to Laiki’s shareholders
Vgenopoulos, MIG and other businessmen have brought a case against the Republic of Cyprus before the International Court of Arbitration.
They are seeking damages in excess of €1 billion – the sum total of their investment in the failed bank – for “illegal actions or omissions leading to the collapse of Laiki Bank.”
“At some point certain individuals must tell the Cypriot people the truth. If they are simply waiting for court defeats to make excuses that others … are supposedly to blame, the only thing they will achieve is being completely ridiculed,” he said.

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