THE NICOSIA Criminal Court on Wednesday rejected a pre-trial motion raised by the defence in the trial of five former Bank of Cyprus officials, and set aside another to be considered later in the process.
In its interim decision, the court rejected an objection questioning the court’s authority to adjudicate on a market manipulation charge.
The defence said the alleged market manipulation took place at a time when the relevant Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) directive had been suspended.
In its 2012 report, he added, CySEC noted that the directive had been scrapped in June 2012, and replaced in November 2012, resulting in a legal gap during the period in question.
The court said the validity of the directive at the time the offence was committed was not considered as being a catalyst, whatever the outcome, since the charge is based on another law that prohibits manipulation.
The defence also argued that the charge was unconstitutional but the court said now was not the time to raise the matter.
The court said the issue would remain open and can be examined during the trial.
The court adjourned until July 8.
Former board chairmen Theodoros Aristodemou and Andreas Artemis, former CEOs Andreas Eliades and Yiannis Kypris, and former deputy CEO Yiannis Pehlivanides face charges of conspiring to manipulate the stock market and defraud investors in connection with “failing to inform the public that the [Bank of Cyprus’] capital needs had increased significantly from the €200 million reported on May 10, 2012”.