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Cyprus

Special procedure will be introduced to resolve 2008-2013 loan disputes

outgoing Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou

As part of the effort to overhaul the justice system, the government will be introducing a special procedure to resolve loan disputes and the sale of bank bonds between 2008 and 2013, Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou said on Thursday.

Speaking at a news conference, the minister said a bill was approved by the cabinet on Wednesday to set up a special court that will only deal with loan disputes and claims deriving from the sale of bank bonds.

“This bill will enable these cases to be adjudicated by specific judges who will be appointed by district and will hear these cases exclusively, irrespective of the amount,” Nicolaou said.

Thousands of bondholders were left with nothing after anywhere from €1.2bn to €1.5bn in contingent securities were converted into equity of practically zero worth as the bank crisis peaked.

Many claim they were misled into buying the high-yield high-risk products and have been demanded to be compensated.

The minister said the process approved by the cabinet would enable quick resolution of any cases brought before the court.

The bond cases will be handled by a group of judges, six, who will be appointed by the supreme court.

The minister also said that a commercial court would also double as an admiralty, a role now played by the supreme court.

Appeals to admiralty decisions will be judged by the supreme court.

 

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