‘BOCY 5’ plead not guilty

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Five se­nior for­mer ex­ec­u­tives at the Bank of Cyprus have pleaded not guilty to charges of mis­lead­ing share­hold­ers and the au­thor­i­ties over its grossly un­der­es­ti­mated cap­i­tal short­fall dat­ing back to 2012 when the bank had bought toxic Greek gov­ern­ment bonds.

EU lead­ers had agreed in Novem­ber 2011 that the Greek bonds be writ­ten down, as a re­sult of which in­vestors lost bil­lions. Among them were both Bank of Cyprus and now-de­funct Laiki Popular Bank, that had been en­cour­aged by the then gov­ern­ment in Athens to buy th­ese toxic bonds in an ef­fort to prop up the Greek econ­omy.

BOCY’s for­mer chair­men Theodoros Aris­tode­mou and An­dreas Artemis, for­mer CEOs An­dreas Eli­ades and Yiannis Kypris, and for­mer deputy CEO Yiannis Pehli­vanides were for­mally charged af­ter the court re­jected their pre-trial ob­jec­tions, ex­cept one.

The court set a next hear­ing for June 2 but de­fence lawyers ob­jected seek­ing to start the trial in Septem­ber so that ex­pert wit­nesses could have time to study the ev­i­dence.

De­fence lawyers have also ar­gued dou­ble jeop­ardy ap­plied and sought a mistrial, as the de­fen­dants – with the ex­cep­tion of Artemis – had al­ready been fined for the same of­fences by the Cyprus Se­cu­ri­ties and Ex­change Com­mis­sion (CySEC).

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