11 December 2013 12:40

Companies and individuals that were involved in the meltdown of the banking sector will be brought to justice as soon as the authorities have collected adequate evidence for a court case, said Attorney General Costas Clerides.
Speaking before the House Institutions Committee, Clerides told MPs that the Legal Service is continuing with the investigation of events that led to the collapse of the banks but could not give a timeframe for its completion.
The AG met on Monday with Deputy AG Rikkos Erotokritou, Police Chief Michalis Papageorgiou and the 17-member inquiry team to discuss the course of investigations and announced that the services of experts from an agency abroad will be hired to reinforce the probe.
Next week, international agencies will present their proposals on how they will contribute to the work of Cypriot investigators.
Clerides said that since the launch of the probe at the end of July, a large volume of information, documents, testimonies and investigating committee findings have been collected and electronically processed to produce concrete results.
He also said that the investigation was focused on the involvement of legal and natural persons and organisations in the situation created in the banking sector. Certain cases involving loans granted on favourable terms with regard and the banks’ liquidity problems were also under investigation.
The Attorney General pointed out that the role of the supervisory authorities and inspections into the course of the banking sector, as well as actions and oversights between 2006 and 2013 that could constitute a criminal offence are also being looked into.
He gave assurance that the investigations is being carried out meticulously in order to foresee possible gaps that could compromise the case in court.
Speaking after the meeting at the House, chairman of the Institutions Committee Demetris Syllouris said that he is optimistic regarding the outcome of investigations but added that he could not confirm whether obstacles could be used to keep those responsible for being taken before justice.
He also voiced concern with the ‘recycling’ of the same individuals and practices in current bank administrations and made reference to senior bankers who last week retired on total benefits reaching €800,000.
“It is inconceivable for bankers to retire on such high incomes when at the same time we blackmailed 1,400 staff into leaving and it may soon be asked of others to also leave their jobs,” Syllouris said.


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