Laiki bankers found guilty of mar­ket ma­nip­u­lat­ing

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - CYPRUS -

Four for­mer ex­ec­u­tives of de­funct Laiki Bank have been found guilty of ma­nip­u­lat­ing the mar­ket, leak­ing false or mis­lead­ing in­for­ma­tion and con­ceal­ing in­for­ma­tion from the pub­lic.

The one-time bankers of de­funct Laiki, manag­ing direc­tor Efthimios Bouloutas, deputy manag­ing direc­tor Panayi­o­tis Koun­nis, vice-pres­i­dent Neo­clis Lysan­drou and ex­ec­u­tive board mem­ber Mar­cos Foros were found guilty on Fri­day by the Ni­cosia Crim­i­nal Court.

They were charged with mar­ket ma­nip­u­la­tion and sub­mit­ting false or mis­lead­ing in­for­ma­tion while pub­lish­ing an in­terim con­sol­i­dated fi­nan­cial state­ment in Novem­ber 2011, in which they omit­ted to in­clude a good­will write down of EUR 330mln for Marfin Pop­u­lar Bank’s – as Laiki was then known – op­er­a­tions in Greece.

The crim­i­nal court had ruled in March that the pros­e­cu­tor had suc­ceeded in prov­ing a prima fa­cie case against the ac­cused in re­la­tion to both the charges that they were fac­ing.

The de­fence ar­gued that their clients obli­ga­tion to dis­close the in­terim ac­counts of the bank were abol­ished un­der a new law and so the charges were no longer rel­e­vant.

State pros­e­cu­tion ar­gued that a ba­sic prin­ci­ple of Cyprus law is that of­fences com­mit­ted be­fore the re­peal of a law are valid, so a crime was com­mit­ted at that time.

The Laiki four were re­leased pend­ing sen­tenc­ing on 17 Oc­to­ber.

Laiki Bank was closed down in March 2013 as part of the is­land’s bailout agree­ment with in­ter­na­tional lenders fol­low­ing a bank­ing cri­sis.

Dis­graced Laiki was seen as the epit­ome of the kind of casino bank­ing that led Cyprus to the brink of eco­nomic melt­down.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Cyprus

© PressReader. All rights reserved.