Bank of Cyprus trial continues: decision on 26 May
Nicosia Assize Court (court for indictments) will announce on Tuesday, 26 May, its decision on the latest preliminary objections posed by defence counsel in a case against the Bank of Cyprus (BoC) and five of its former top officials.
Apart from the BoC, which is prosecuted as a legal entity, the five officials are: former Bank of Cyprus Board Chairman Theodoros Aristodemou and his successor Andreas Artemi, former CEO Andreas Eliades and his successor Yiannis Kypri and former first deputy CEO Yiannis Pehlivanides head of the bank’s Greek operations.
They face charges of market abuse and conspiracy to deceive investors as they failed to notify the investors that the bank’s capital needs in 2012 had risen significantly up to €400 million above the announced €200 million.
During Friday’s hearing, public prosecutor Paulina Efthyvoulou said the objections had no basis and called on the three member judicial body to “reject the objections in their totality” so that the accused can be called on to answer to the charges they are facing.
In particular she argued that a request to pose a legal question to the Supreme Court on whether one of the accused Andreas Artemis should be cleared of all charges, she said that it does not concern a legal question but rather the Supreme Court is called on to replace the judgment of the Assize Court as regards the facts of the case.
At the same time Ms Efthyvoulou also rejected other preliminary objections over the charges stressing that the law gave the authority to the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) to refine, clarify and pinpoint the elements taken into consideration in a decision on whether market abuse took place.
She cited administrative law in a Greek academic document according to which in order to cover unforeseen circumstances or problems the legislator can use general provisions or vague legal concepts and delegate authority for further details to a specialised body, in this case CySEC.
Ms Efthyvoulou countered other preliminary objections to do with the multiplicity of charges by pointing out that the indictment should include the name of the accused, the capacity under which he is accused, when and where the offences took place and the illegal activity of each of the accused.
These details, she noted, are sufficient and necessary so that the accused can be aware of what charges they are facing.
The Court has already rejected preliminary objections on the part of the defence as regards the legal principle of abuse of process on 5 May.