First part of bond probe is over

An executive of US bank JP Morgan insisted yesterday that the financial institution did not know that a 280-million-euro structured Greek government bond would be sold on to four pension funds, as prosecutors wrapped up their preliminary investigation into the affair. JP Morgan’s senior country manager for Greece, Haris Adamopoulos, told prosecutor Antonis Liogas that the bank, as well as the Greek state, did not know that the London-based North Asset Management hedge fund would sell on the bond, which was eventually bought by the pension funds at an inflated price. Adamopoulos referred to the evidence given by JP Morgan’s chief operating officer for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Jakob Stott, to a parliamentary committee earlier this week. Stott told MPs that former employee Mike Savvides had misled the bank over the bond transaction and that JP Morgan did not know the hedge fund would trade the note. Savvides denies these claims and suggested yesterday that he is considering taking legal action against JP Morgan. PASOK also hit out at the role played by the US bank. «Every Greek understands that JP Morgan was involved and party to the mechanism that issued the infamous bond and is now part of the cover-up effort,» said Socialist spokesman Petros Efthymiou. Some 40 people have been questioned in connection to the bond purchase and charges are due to be issued next week.

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