Former Central Bank Governor Athanasios Orphanides appeared in a Limassol district court on Monday along with three former board members of Laiki Bank in an alleged mis-selling of bank bonds case.
A Limassol resident has filed the case, claiming he was duped into buying €400,000 worth of high risk, high-yield bonds which are now worthless. Laiki Bank, as a legal entity, is also on trial. Proceedings were adjourned due to the physical absence of the case judge.
They are set to continue on August 11, by which time the judge is scheduled to return. Orphanides was ordered to pay €10,000 bail to ensure he appears at the next hearing.
His lawyer, Efstathios Efstathiou, maintained his client’s innocence to the court on Monday, noting Orphanides had travelled to Cyprus from the USA, where he is currently teaching, to attend the proceedings.
He asked for all the charges against his clients to be dropped, saying the case against Orphanides went against the basic rule of law and was flawed.
Efstathiou also requested the arrest warrant for his client be cancelled since he will remain in Cyprus until August 20.
Orphanides faces charges of fraud and making an inaccurate statement during his time as governor. A number of bond holders congregated outside the court and jeered at Orphanides while his lawyer made statements to the press.
The proceedings involving Laiki’s former non-executive chairman Andreas Vgenopoulos and the bank’s former CEO Efthimios Bouloutas will continue on September 10.