Former Central Bank Governor and ex-minister Christodoulos Christodoulou yesterday denied charges of forgery after being released on bail for the amount of €5,000.
Christodoulou, his daughter Athena Christodoulou and ex-son-in-law Andreas Kizourides appeared before Nicosia District Court yesterday after being implicated in document falsification related to the company A.C. Christodoulou Consultants Ltd.
Speaking after his court appearance, Christodoulou said that he is confident that the justice system which he has complete faith in will verify his innocence.
“I have always been, as a man and a public servant, honest and straightforward and I served my fellow men and my country with selflessness and diligence,” Christodoulou said.
“I have not stolen or received bribes. My aim has always been to serve the public interest and my impartial judge has been my conscience. I am clean and I have never done anything to be ashamed of, it is others who should be ashamed,” he added.
The three suspects are facing 11 charges for criminal offences and violations of specific articles of the Penal Code, as well as conspiracy to commit a felony, by forging documents with the intent of fraud.
More specifically, the three suspects are accused of co-signing a letter to Marfin Egnatia Bank in Greece on September 16, 2009, which stated that Kizourides had sold land in Strovolos to Athena Christodoulou for the amount of €1,150,000, although they were aware that the content of the letter did not correspond to reality.
According to state prosecutor Andreas Aristides, the suspects are also accused of circulating a false document on September 15, 2009, as “they knowingly and fraudulently” circulated the above letter in Nicosia and Athens.
A.C. Christodoulou Consultants Ltd, as well as Christodoulou and his daughter are also accused of keeping false accounts with the intent to defraud, as on February 28, 2008, they omitted to include the amount of €1 million, received from Focus Maritime Corporation on July 27, 2007, on the company accounts for 2007.
A similar omission was traced on May 23, 2009, when the same suspects failed to include a relevant listing for €1m in the company’s audited accounts.
The suspects also appear to have made false statements to the Inland Revenue Department in November 2008 for the company’s revenue in 2007, while for 2009 the tax return included false information regarding the company’s collected interest which was listed as €4,426 instead of €40,994.
The same was done in the following year when they declared €9,954 instead of €36,125, according to the prosecution.
The 11th charge which was added on by the Legal Service yesterday states that Christodoulou and his daughter “fraudulently or intentionally” declared on November 19, 2010, that the dividend given to the company’s shareholders was €167,060 instead of €1,128,000.
The three suspects are next expected to appear in court on June 27 in a trial seen as the first connected to the island’s economic collapse.