Cyprus Mail

Court cases against Bank of Cyprus postponed

Two court cases relating to alleged mismanagement at the Bank of Cyprus (BoC) in the run up to the island’s financial collapse have been adjourned for later this month and June, it emerged on Tuesday.

The postponement in the first case was requested by BoC defence lawyer Polys Polyviou who said he intended to file a motion to ask the Supreme Court for a ruling on a particular legal aspect, which was not disclosed.

Five of the bank’s former top brass, as well as the lender itself, are accused of deliberately misinforming investors with regard to the bank’s capital position in 2012. Those charged are former CEO Andreas Eliades, his successor Yiannis Kypri, former board chairman Andreas Aristodemou, former vice chairman Andreas Artemi and former first deputy CEO Yiannis Pehlivanides.

They were facing charges of market manipulation and conspiracy to defraud investors in connection with “non-disclosure to the public that the bank’s capital needs had risen significantly relative to the amount of €200mln, which was announced on May 10, 2012.”

Last month, the Nicosia Criminal Court acquitted the defendants of a conspiracy to defraud charge but found they had a case to answer as regards their failure to inform about the lender’s need to raise an additional €480mln in capital.

The rest of the defence lawyers said they will support Polyviou’s request. Efstathios Efstathiou, representing Eliades, said he intended to raise a second point.

Prosecutor Paulina Efthyvoulou said she would wait to hear what the legal point was and if possible respond on the same day.

The case was adjourned until May 25.

A second case against the BoC and six executives was postponed for June 16 again at the request of Polyviou who said he intended to raise a pre-trial motion.

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.

The defendants in the case are BoC as a legal entity, and six former officials – Eliades, Kypris, Artemi and non executive board members Giorgos Georgiades, Costas Severis and Costas Hadjipapas.
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 an investigating committee that probed the collapse of the economy.

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