In a marathon session in Cypriot courts on Monday, the case against businessman Andreas Vgenopoulos was discussed. The main basis of the case concerns a 1-million-euro payout to former central banker Christodoulos Christodoulou by Greek shipowner Michalis Zolotas in 2007 for which Christodoulou served five months in jail after confessing to tax evasion in 2014. The transaction is crucial to linking Vgenopoulos to Christodoulou and proving that the central banker was paid off for turning a blind eye to Vgenopoulos’ acquisition of a minority stake in Laiki Bank in 2005.
Vgenopoulos did not appear in court with his counsel, Michalis Dimitrakopoulos, explaining that he was in Paris defending Greece against Cypriot demands for 4.5 bln euros over losses from the PSI debt restructuring in 2012. The prosecutor stated that the case is of “public interest” with Vgenopoulos considered as a “chief witness.” The case was finally postponed until July 20 so that the Greek businessman could attend.
State prosecutors in charge of overseeing investigations into Cyprus’ economic collapse met with police investigators in the presence of Greek private attorneys to discuss the 2007 transaction and its link between Vgenopoulos and Zolotas. Establishing a link could prove that Vgenopoulos did indeed make a payment to Christodoulou by proxy.
This case is the first to implicate Vgenopoulos in the Cypriot bank crash. Cypriot authorities may seek an extradition request against him for a number of charges, such as bribery and corruption based on testimonies of unknown sources.