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AG appoints co-op investigators

Attorney-general Costas Clerides has appointed a three-member panel to investigate the possibility of wrongdoing in the co-op bank, parts of which are expected to be acquired by Hellenic after a deal that has been criticised by opposition parties.

The investigation will look into how the lender’s non-performing loans came to be around €7.5bn as well as why it required €1.5bn in recapitalisation from the state in 2014.

It also aims to provide insights into the way the lender was managed as well as the decisions that led to its eventual sale to Hellenic Bank.

The panel will be headed by former Supreme Court judge Giorgos Arestis, who also served as a judge at the EU court in Luxemburg. He will be assisted by economist Giorgos Charalambous, a former Bank of Cyprus executive, former board member of the development bank and former head of the securities and exchange commission, and Giorgos Georgiou, a former executive at Alpha Bank and former chairman of the bank association.

The committee’s detailed terms of reference will be published in the official gazette in the next few days after the necessary preparations take place.

There will be no limit as to how far back the investigation would go.

The panel will have to present its findings within three months from the date the official order is published. A three-month extension could be granted if necessary.

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