An Athens appeals court yesterday threw out for a second time the case against the former chairman and six former board members of the State Portfolio Management Agency (DEKA) accused of buying shares in state-controlled firms ahead of the 2000 national elections to boost the stock market. Two of the three judges ruled that the seven accused could not face trial due to a law requiring that their political superiors are first tried. Since no politician had been tried, the judges reasoned, nor could the accused. «This trial should never have happened,» said defense lawyer Antonis Vgontzas In December 2005, an appeals court cleared the seven of breach of faith against the public interest, ruling that DEKA was an independent company and that its officials should have been charged with common breach of faith, which has a five-year statute of limitations. The shares bought by DEKA in 2000 dropped sharply, resulting in a loss of some 700 million euros.