Ex-BoC executives face trial over meltdown

Two former chairmen and three other one-time top executives of the Bank of Cyprus are being charged in connection with the economic meltdown that forced Nicosia to seek a painful international bailout.

Attorney-General Costas Clerides told the Cyprus News Agency a case was filed on Friday before the Nicosia district court in what could lead to the first prosecution since the March 2013 banking crisis that almost bankrupted the country.

Former BoC chairmen Theodoros Aristodemou and Andreas Artemis, ex-CEOs Andreas Eliades and Yiannis Kypri and former executive Yiannis Pehlivanidis are set for a hearing on January 30, when the case is expected to be referred to the criminal court.

Clerides said a police investigation had shown that “criminal offenses had been committed.”

The charges relate to manipulation of the share price and to misleading statements on the capital adequacy of the bank, the island’s largest lender.

If convicted, the five face up to 10 years in jail as well as the possibility of hefty fines.