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State appeals acquittal of two former bank execs

The state has appealed the acquittal of two former bank executives in December last year over the handling of Greek government bonds that eventually caused the lender huge losses.

The court acquitted former Bank of Cyprus executives Andreas Eliades and Yiannis Kypri of charges relating to alleged market manipulation by falsifying the lender’s 2010 annual report.

They were accused of conspiring to reclassify the bank’s holdings in Greek bonds – with an effective date of April 1, 2010 – with intent to defraud investors.

The bonds were reclassified in a manner as to indicate the bank had suffered fewer losses than it actually did, conveying a better picture overall of the lender’s financials.

In turn, this resulted in the stock value being listed higher than it would otherwise have been – a move which state prosecutors believe is tantamount to market manipulation.

The prosecution asserts the date on a document containing the minutes of a meeting of the BoC Group’s Assets and Liabilities Committee (ALCO) of April 7, 2010 had been altered.

The December 14 court decision followed a pretrial motion by the defence, which argued that the charges shared the same foundation as two previous cases regarding BoC in which the two executives had been acquitted.

The case continues for Christis Hadjimitsis, Nicolas Karidas, Christodoulos Patsalides, Eliza Livadiotou, and Despina Kyriakidou.

At the start of Thursday’s hearing, the prosecution informed the court about the appeal and a letter to the supreme court asking for it to be fast-tracked so that Eliades and Kypri could join the other defendants if it were successful.

The prosecution asked the court to adjourn the case for as long as it saw fit until the appeal issue was resolved.

The court agreed to adjourn until February 11.

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