Four defendants in the Agia Fyla credit union scandal have been acquitted on all charges, with criminal judges citing failure on the part of the police to prosecute the case.
The Criminal Court on Wednesday acquitted four defendants in a case worth millions in connection with the cooperative bank scandal in Limassol’s Agia Fyla credit union. Two businessmen, an administrator at the local credit union, and a cooperative bank loan officer were accused of irregularities, bribery, fraud, and illegal gains in a total of 115 charges.
The judges said the defendants were not treated fairly by police, as investigators failed to disclose specific information about allegations obtained from witnesses
After hearing a total of 76 witness accounts detailing fraudulent mortgages, keeping fake accounts, and money laundering, the three judge panel said that irregularities had taken place between 2006 and 2009 regarding 11 cases totaling loans worth €12 million.
Presiding judge Teresa Karakana, alogn with judges Antonis Konis and Tasos Katsikides, said that best practices had not being followed and this resulted to individuals finding loopholes and taking advantage of a broken system.
But the judges also said that the defendants were not treated fairly by police, as investigators failed to disclose specific information about allegations obtained from witnesses.
The ruling went on to say that the defendants were not interrogated on specific matters based on those allegations, which meant that prosecutors were passing the burden of proof to the defendants, rendering the entire trial that lasted two years as “unfair” according to the constitution.