Officials cleared in DEKA hearing

An appeals court in Athens yesterday cleared the former chairman and board members of the Public Portfolio Management Company (DEKA) of charges that they had been involved in stock manipulation in the runup to the 2000 general elections which cost the state some 700 million euros. Former DEKA chairman Ioannis Kousoulakos and six other former board members had been indicted for breaching the state’s faith but were cleared yesterday after the court’s three judges ruled that DEKA was independent from the state. The six men could not be tried for breaching DEKA’s faith due to a five-year statute of limitations. Between March 9 and April 10, 2000, DEKA went on a buying spree. The move gave the troubled stock market a liquidity boost in the buildup to the April 9 polls, in which PASOK won re-election by a narrow margin. After that election, the companies’ share value dropped, in which DEKA sustained losses of some 244 billion drachmas (717 million euros). New Democracy, which was then in opposition, accused the government of manipulating the stock exchange to secure the votes of hundreds of thousands of small investors trapped after the 1999 stock bubble. «Greek citizens know and can judge what happened during the period when the stock market bloomed,» said government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos, who refused to comment on the court’s decision. He did not rule out further investigations into stock market deals.