By Stelios Orphanides
The chairwoman of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) Daniele Nouy will not testify at the committee probing the failure of the state-owned Cyprus Cooperative Bank and is instead ready to reply in writing to a questionnaire, the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) reported on Friday.
The committee, appointed by Attorney-general Costas Clerides in July, said that the ECB did not decide to lift the immunity Nouy enjoys and expressed its regrets over the decision, according to the CNA.
“As chairwoman of the supervisory board, I have immunity from giving testimony to national authorities, including investigative committees, with respect to actions taken as part of my duties, as provided by the protocol on privileges and immunity of the European Union,” Nouy said in a letter to the committee.
The decision to decline the request filed by the committee investigating the demise of the state-owned bank which was supervised jointly by the Central Bank of Cyprus and the SSM in the past four years, was taken by the ECB’s Executive Board.
According to the CNA, the committee gave the impression on Thursday that Nouy would be prepared to testify via teleconference, after it was conveyed to it that Central Bank of Cyprus and a spokesperson of Nouy asked about the topics on which she would have to testify.
The CNA added that Cypriot legislation provides that testimonies to investigative committees are given under oath no matter whether a testimony is given verbally or in writing and that the committee will find a solution to this problem on the basis of EU legislation and case law.