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Cyprus

Nicosia court to issue Focus decision on August 6

Former Central Bank chief Christodoulos Christodoulou (file photo)

The Nicosia criminal court will issue its decision on August 6 on whether it will allow submission of a number of exhibits in a corruption trial involving former Central Bank governor Christodoulos Christodoulou.

The evidence in question relates to Greek national Michalis Zolotas, owner of Focus Maritime Corp and a key defendant in the proceedings.

Prosecutors claim that Focus Maritime Corp was the conduit for transferring €1m to a consultancy firm in Cyprus owned by Christodoulou’s daughter.

The prosecution’s case rests on the premise that the money was a sweetener to Christodoulou so he would green-light the 2006 takeover of Laiki Bank by Greek financier Andreas Vgenopoulos, now deceased.

The bank was shuttered in 2013.

Vgenopoulos, chairman of MIG, was initially also on the charge sheet but his name was removed after his death in in November 2016.

The defence argues that evidence obtained from Greece by Cypriot authorities was not acquired lawfully via the mutual judicial assistance protocol between the two countries.

As such, this evidence should not be admissible.

The evidence in question concerns a hard drive from Zolotas’ personal computer. They argue that the hard drive contains private communications.

The court held a trial within a trial to determine the admissibility of the evidence.

In addition to Zolotas and Christodoulou, defendants in the same case are Christodoulou’s daughter Athina, her ex-husband Andreas Kizourides, former Laiki official Michael Fole, and Α.C. Christodoulou Consultants Ltd, MIG and Focus as legal entities.

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