State prosecutors informed a Nicosia court on Monday that they will be refiling charges in the first criminal case brought against a co-operative bank.
Acting on instructions from the attorney-general, prosecutors told the Nicosia criminal court they were withdrawing the prosecution and filing an amended charge sheet, after investigators uncovered additional evidence.
The new charge sheet will feature one additional defendant, a company by the name of Ktimatikι Kotrona Ltd. All other current defendants will remain on the amended charge sheet.
The new evidence implicates some of the defendants already named on the charge sheet, as well as Ktimatikι Kotrona Ltd.
Like the original charges, they relate to the Strovolos co-op granting loans without adequate collateral.
The additional evidence pertains to four loans worth a combined €2m.
State prosecutor Polina Ethyvoulou told the court they decided to roll the new evidence into one case, in order to save time.
The case will be refiled at the criminal court on November 21, while on December 5 the defendants are to enter a plea.
The addition of Ktimatikι Kotrona Ltd brings the total number of defendants to 10.
Under the previous charge sheet, nine defendants – including two companies – were accused of fraud in connection with loans worth €3.6m secured in 2007.
They face charges relating to conspiracy to defraud, obtaining goods under false pretences, forgery, unlawful acquisition of property and money laundering.
The defendants are former Central Co-op Bank boss Erotokritos Chlorakiotis, former Strovolos Co-op boss Demetrakis Stavrou, and former co-op development commissioner Constandinos Lyras.
The indictment also includes Maria Chlorakiotou, Carolina Angelopoulou, Maria Chrysanthou, Giorgos Mavreas, Detiero Enterprises, and CHL Enterprises.
According to the original charge sheet, between May and July 2007 the defendants conspired to defraud by securing illegal loans worth CYP2.1m (€3.6m) from the Strovolos co-op.
The defendants also failed to disclose the real reason for a €119,602 loan and the beneficiary. They moreover provided false information, including the values of two properties used as collateral, to secure CYP2m (around €3.4m) from the same bank.
They are further accused of forging the minutes of the bank’s managing committee to show that it had approved a CYP200,000 (€341,720) loan to Detiero Enterprises.
Stavrou is accused of preparing a loan review report long after the money had been granted: that he forged the report between October 2012 and April 2014 when it should have been done in 2007, before the application for the €3.4m loan was presented to the committee for approval.
Chlorakiotis also faces a single charge of unlawful acquisition of property in relation to the €3.4m loan.
The defendants had all pleaded not guilty.