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12° Nicosia,
24 June, 2024
 
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Supreme court frees billions in assets

Supreme court shocks financial world

Newsroom / CNA

The Supreme Court unanimously overturns Laiki Bank's secured decrees, releasing billions in assets belonging to Andreas Vgenopoulos, Marfin Investments Group Holdings S.A, Efthimios Buloutas, and Kyriakos Cook. These decrees were initially upheld by the Nicosia District Court's interim decision on April 29, 2013.

In its ruling, the court highlights the severity of these unilateral decrees, which froze assets both inside and outside Cyprus for the four defendants. Specifically, Andreas Vgenopoulos and Marfin faced freezing of assets up to €3.79 billion, while Kyriakos Cook's assets were frozen up to €1.5 billion. Defendant 12 was prohibited from transferring assets to appellants 1-3, as outlined in the decree. Additionally, subsidiary disclosure decrees were issued, requiring defendants 1-3 to declare, under oath, all their worldwide property interests within the specified timeframe.

It's worth noting that Laiki Bank came under resolution under the Credit and Other Institutions Law 17(I)/2013, effective since its publication in the Official Gazette of the Republic on March 22, 2013. However, the bank had previously filed a writ of summons in the Nicosia District Court on November 26, 2012, seeking damages from 12 individuals, including Greeks Andreas Vgenopoulos, Efthimios Bouloutas, and Kyriakos Cook, who had formerly served as court officials.

The Supreme Court's decision emphasizes that the appellants argued that the conditions justifying the unilateral issuance and enforcement of these orders were not met, as there was no judicial urgency or other exceptional circumstances.

Regarding the risk of asset alienation, the Supreme Court acknowledges that if such a risk existed, as claimed by the appellants, it would have been present from the moment of claim registration and could have occurred at any point thereafter.

The Supreme Court also points out the appellants' inaction and behavior, suggesting that they may not have genuinely believed in the risk of asset alienation but rather presented it to secure the interim decrees. Furthermore, the court highlights the vague references and delayed registration of the application as the primary reasons for the delay in addressing the case.

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

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Cyprus  |  court  |  economy  |  banks

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