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Christododoulou’s daughter and ex deny charges

Former governor of the Central Bank of Cyprus Christodoulos Christodoulou

The daughter of former Central Bank governor Christodoulos Christodoulou and her ex-husband on Thursday denied charges over a €1m payment to the banker allegedly in exchange for his collusion during the takeover of Laiki Bank in 2006.

Six other defendants, including Christodoulou and three companies, said they were not ready to respond and asked to be allowed to raise a series of pre-trial objections before doing so.

The court adjourned for July 6. The defendants were released.

Apart from Christodoulou, daughter Athina, and ex-husband Andreas Kizourides, the charge sheet includes Greek shipowner Michalis Zolotas, former Laiki official Michael Fole, and companies A. C. Christodoulou Consultants Ltd, Marfin Investment Group (MIG), and Focus Maritime Corp.

The defendants face 29 charges including corruption, bribery, abuse of authority, abuse of trust, and money laundering.

Zolotas faces a single count relating to money laundering.

The case is based on the suspicion that a €1m transfer from Zolotas’ Focus to Christodoulou’s consulting firm — technically owned by his daughter — was actually made on behalf of former Laiki strongman Andreas Vgenopoulos in exchange for the former governor’s collusion during the Greek financier’s 2006 takeover of Laiki.

Laiki closed down in 2013.

Vgenopoulos, widely considered as the protagonist in the collapse of the island’s banking system in 2013, died in November 2016.

Christodoulou did five months in jail in 2014 for failing to pay taxes on the €1m payment.

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