The Attorney General of the Republic Costas Clerides issued a statement this morning confirming accusations made by his brother, lawyer Nikos Clerides, over favourable rulings handed down by the Supreme Court Judges to Bank of Cyprus appeals.
Clerides confirms that three out of five judges in the Bank of Cyprus appeal case Nr. 423/17 have children or spouses employed by the law firm Chryssafinis & Polyviou that represented the Bank and its senior executives. The Supreme Court yesterday rejected the alegations as unprovoked and unsubstantiated.
Clerides confirms that three out of five judges in the Bank of Cyprus appeal case Nr. 423/17 have children or spouses employed by the law firm Chryssafinis & Polyviou
Following the European Court of Human Rights case Nicholas vs Cyprus, said Clerides, judges are required to declare family relations with firms representing defentants and if necessary recuse themselves from the case. The Supreme Court judges have failed to do so Clerides states.
Clerides, following this development, gave instructions calling for implimentation of the principles derrived by the Nicholas vs Cyprus case, which resulted in three judges declaring that their daughters and spouse, were employed by the Bank's lawyers.
The Court proceeded to hear the case regardless and ruled in favour of Chryssafinis & Polyviou over technicalities. ''This decision is inconsistent with legal principles and logic'' the Attorney General said.
The second case Clerides writes involves appeals 2/18 and 3/18 against the unanimous decision of the Criminal Court which convicted Bank of Cyprus and its former CEO Andreas Eliades for market manipulation.
Again the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the Bank by declaring that the statements made by Eliades ''were not intended to manipulate the market but to reassure the outraged shareholders in their general assembly''. ''In my view, this decision and, in particular, this statement is extremely wrong'', Clerides exemplified.
''But most alarming is that, as revealed after the decision was issued, close relatives of the President of the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court [Myronas Nikolatos] whose vote judged the outcome of the case in favour of the Bank, namely his daughter and sister; benefited in an out-of-court settlement with the Bank..''
Clerides indicates that the Bank agreed to a settlement with them after they sued the Bank with regards to deposit losses incurred during the Cyprus bail-in.
''In the case of the daughter who at the time was a minor, the whole legal transaction of the bonds was made by the judge himself, acting as the father of the minor. In his statement yesterday, the President of the Supreme Court does not question these facts... In my view, this is a very serious issue of objective impartiality which should have led to the President of the Supreme Court not being involved in a serious criminal case...''
''As a result, in both of the above mentioned appeals, it is impossible to say that the fundamental principle of law was observed, according to which justice should not only be awarded, but above all it must seem to be awarded.''