The trial of Bank of Cyprus and six former senior officials in connection with the acquisition of Greek government bonds has been adjourned until March 24 at the request of the defence, which cited the other ongoing trial for market manipulation.
The case concerns the acquisition of Greek government bonds and the lender’s failure to inform its shareholders of the risks of such an investment, which eventually cost the lender billions in losses.
Representing the bank, lawyer Stella Polyviou asked the court for the case to be postponed for a couple of months to give time to the first case to progress.
The two cases shared common aspects, she said, and on top of that, lawyers have not yet finished studying the material since they were also working on the other case.
Defence lawyer Chris Triantafyllides added his concern over the possibility of raising legal issues in the second trial that could pre-empt the decision in the first.
The court agreed with the request and set the next hearing for 9am on March 24.
The defendants in the case are Bank of Cyprus as a legal entity, and six former officials – CEO Andreas Eliades, deputy CEO Yiannis Kypris, non executive vice chairman Andreas Artemis, and non executive board members Giorgos Georgiades, Costas Severis and Costas Hadjipapas.
The trial started on December 2, 2015 with the defence asking for time to study the evidence and respond to the charges their clients face.
The charge sheet includes six charges – four against all seven concern market manipulation as regards the acquisition of Greek government bonds. Eliades faces two charges of perjury in connection with his testimony before a investigating committee that probed the collapse of the economy.
The bank, Eliades, Kypris, and Artemis also face marker manipulation charges in the first case tried by the Criminal Court.