The term of the independent committee tasked with investigating the collapse of the Cyprus Co-operative Bank ends in two weeks. And the countdown has begun for the outcome of the investigation whose goal is to bring to account those responsible for the recent collapse of the co-op movement.
The Committee’s deadline is Tuesday March 5, so either on Friday February 28, or early the week after, the conclusions drawn by the legal experts after long and exhausting hearings will be made public.
The Commission has carried out 40 open/public hearings during the period from August 3 to December 12, 2018, examining a total of 75 witnesses.
The drafting of the conclusions has been completed, according to Phileleftheros sources, and the three members of the Commission are currently reading over the report in order to identify any mistakes and ambiguities as well as to verify the references in the text. The Commission, under former Judge George Arestis, will commence its findings from 1981 when another Co-op Investigative Committee report had been released.
The Commission’s report will be handed over to the Attorney General, who will examine whether there are criminal offenses. If he decides there are issues that need further investigation he may ask the Police to look into them.
Testimonies from witnesses also referred to a series of loans that Co-op institutions were giving out without sufficient collateral. Loans were given even to dead people, while cemeteries and churches were mortgaged. Over-estimations of real estate were reported, as well as cases where loans were handed out to old people with a repayment period of 40 years.
Strong party involvement in decision-making and in the appointments of Secretariats and Committees of Co-operative institutions was also reported.