Cyprus Mail
Cyprus

Greek authorities green-light bankers’ extradition

Laiki’s branches were shut down and assets moved to the Resolution Authority

Judicial authorities in Greece have ordered the extradition to Cyprus of two former Greek bankers whose arrest was sought after they failed to appear before a Cypriot court.

The Athens News Agency reported however, that the order will not be executed immediately because the defendants will file an appeal at Greece’s high court.

The pair, former Laiki Bank board members Efthimios Bouloutas and Markos Foros, have been banned from leaving Greece.

Cypriot authorities issued European arrest warrants for Bouloutas and Foros in February, after they failed to appear before court at the inaugural hearing of the first case relating to mismanagement at the failed lender.

The Nicosia district court had convened to rule on whether to refer the case to the criminal court.

The other two defendants, Panayiotis Kounnis and Neoclis Lysandrou, also former board members, were in court.

The four men are accused of having conspired to mislead investors through public statements and inaccurate account reporting in 2011.

Laiki faced serious undercapitalisation issues and had to be bailed out with €1.8 billion of taxpayer money in June 2012, but went down in March 2013.

Management of the failed lender was taken over by Marfin Investment Group (MIG) founder and boss Andreas Vgenopoulos in 2006.

He promptly recruited a team of Greek nationals to run it, who he has called pejoratively “the Greeks” since the bank’s failure, arguing that the local political and banking establishment had always cast a suspicious eye on them.

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