Cyprus Mail

Arrest warrant for suspect in former CBC governor bribery case

Former governor of the Central Bank of Cyprus Christodoulos Christodoulou

A warrant for the arrest of Kyriacos Magiras, a Greek national accused of being involved in the suspected bribery of former governor of the Central Bank of Cyprus Christodoulos Christodoulou in 2007, was issued by the Nicosia district court on Monday.

Allowing time for the warrant to be executed, judge Marilena Miliotou adjourned the trial for March 22.

Magiras was one of the individuals for whom the International Court of Arbitration had asked Cyprus to refrain from issuing arrest warrants, since they would be required to be attend the hearings of a €1 billion redress claim brought by Marfin Investment Group (MIG) and several Greek businessmen against the Republic of Cyprus over its responsibility for the demise of Laiki bank.

In December, the World Bank’s International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) approved a request for Magiras’ arrest.

In addition to Christodoulou and Magiras, defendants in the case are Greek ship owner Michalis Zolotas, Michael Fole, Christodoulou’s daughter Athina, her former husband Andreas Kizourides, and companies AC Christodoulou Consultants Ltd, MIG, and Focus Maritime Corp.

MIG founder and longtime chairman Andreas Vgenopoulos was also a defendant until his death last November.

Through AC Christodoulou Consultants, ostensibly a consulting firm, Christodoulou is accused of having taken a €1-million bribe from Zolotas’ Focus, which in turn prosecutors say was a front for Vgenopoulos, whose MIG sought to buy a larger stake of Laiki in 2006 than was allowed by the CBC’s rules.

Athina Christodoulou and then-husband Kizourides were officially the consulting firm’s administrators.

At a tax evasion trial in 2014, Christodoulou confessed to not having declared the €1 million income but claimed it represented compensation for consultancy services over 10 years, paid in advance.

At the time, he was handed a five-month jail term for tax-dodging.

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