Stock case irrevocably dismissed

Senior judges yesterday rejected a government-backed bid to have former senior stock exchange and Capital Market Commission (CMC) officials prosecuted in connection with the 1999 stock bubble. In an irrevocable ruling, the Council of Appeals Court Judges found there were no grounds on which to insist upon the prosecution going ahead. This upheld a decision late last month, by the Council of Athens Misdemeanor Court Judges, to drop charges against the former bourse and CMC officials for misconduct in connection with the alleged manipulation of shares belonging to the Altec SA software firm. Following a controversial November 1 meeting with Justice Minister Anastassis Papaligouras, Greece’s top prosecutor Dimitris Linos had appealed that decision. This prompted widespread accusations, by PASOK main opposition party as well as judges and prosecutors, that the government was tampering with the course of justice. Other investigations are still under way into the 1999 bubble. Meanwhile yesterday, Athens stocks soared to a three-year high.