The head of Marfin Investment Group (MIG) and former Laiki Bank boss Andreas Vgenopoulos will be questioned by Greek authorities next week, following a request by Cypriot investigators, the Attorney-general Costas Clerides said on Monday.
The questioning is part of investigations into the demise of the island’s second-largest lender in 2013. Vgenopoulos is considered to be a key person of interest in the probe into the collapse of the Cypriot economy.
Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), Clerides said that Vgenopoulos’ questioning is set for June 21.
He added that the questioning will be made by a Greek investigator, in the presence of Cypriot investigators who will travel to Athens especially and who “have the right to request clarifications through the (Greek) investigator”.
Cyprus requested Vgenopoulos’ questioning in April 2015, but the former Laiki man managed to stall the process by claiming the alleged offences took place in Athens, and were thus the jurisdiction of Greek authorities.
Greek authorities finally approved a request by Cypriot investigators to have him questioned over a particular investigation relating to Laiki. Investigators, the CNA reported, are expected to question Vgenopoulos on issues relevant to the first criminal case concerning Laiki, which is set for a hearing on June 23 before the Nicosia District Court, where four former high officials of the defunct lender face charges relating to mismanagement.
The four are Greek nationals Efthymios Bouloutas and Marcos Foros, and Cypriots Panayiotis Kounnis and Neoklis Lysandrou, all of whom are accused of having conspired to mislead investors through public statements and inaccurate account reporting in 2011. Two arrest warrants were issued against Bouloutas and Foros, who are close associates of Vgenopoulos, as they have failed to appear before the court so far.
As regards the two who are wanted by the Greek authorities, Clerides said that they “assured us they are doing everything to find them”.
Meanwhile, Vgenopoulos issued an announcement on Monday claiming that “over the past two weeks there has been a coordinated effort” to make him look like he is guilty or that he will be questioned in connection with the Laiki case.
“The truth is that no case is pending against me either in Greece or in Cyprus and I was simply asked to testify, among several other executives, on the accurate or not display of Greek bonds in the bank’s newsletters during the years 2010 and 2011,” it said.
The announcement said that the newsletters were prepared by external consultants and had been approved by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission.
“The case is therefore procedural,” the announcement said.