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Cyprus

‘Preliminary conclusions’ reached on possible criminal offences in co-op debacle

Attorney general Costas Clerides

The state Legal Service has arrived at certain preliminary conclusions relating to the possible commission of criminal offences in the collapse of the co-op bank, Attorney-general Costas Clerides said on Friday.

Clerides had assigned two teams of state attorneys with the task of studying an 800-page report on the findings of a probe into the collapse and determine whether criminal or civil law offences had been committed.

“We have arrived at certain preliminary conclusions regarding issues of potential criminal responsibilities, which we will refine within the next few days,” he told the Cyprus News Agency without elaborating further. “On the matter of civil offences, we are having a new meeting later today.”

The three-panel investigating committee, which presented its findings early this month, said Finance Minister Harris Georgiades was mainly to blame for the demise. It also recommended further investigation into the possibility of criminal offences committed by former CEO Nicolas Hadjiyiannis and others.

Georgiades has rejected calls to resign, arguing that the bank buckled under the weight of around €7bn in bad debts.

He later announced that he was stepping down at the end of this year but said it was not related to the co-op issue.

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