Insider Business Updated: Cyprus wins case against Vgenopoulos

Updated: Cyprus wins case against Vgenopoulos

The Republic of Cyprus has won its case at  the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes in Paris against Marfin and the late Andreas Vgenopoulos who had sought €1.05b in compensation.

In its decision, which is binding and not subject to appeal, the court rejected the claimants’ arguments and ordered they also pay €5m in legal fees.

The 365 page decision followed a claim by Marfin and other Greek investors against the Republic of Cyprus relating to the closure of Laiki Bank. They argued that it was the mistakes of the Republic of Cyprus that had led to the closure of Laiki.

The suit was lodged in September 2013. Marfin was seeking compensation of €800m while the remaining sum was claimed by other individuals and companies.

Speaking to the press on Friday, attorney general Costas Clerides said that the Law Office had successfully defended the interests of the Republic. And he ejected criticism that had been levelled in the past that his office has spent millions in fees and investigations into the collapse of the economy, without result.

Clerides said the suit against the Republic had been lodged by Marfin and 19 individuals and companies seeking damages for what they said was a violation by Cyprus of the agreement with Greece for the mutual protection of investments as regards Laiki.

He said that the court found that the Republic had not broken any obligation arising from the agreement and rejected all the demands made by the claimants. It also awarded €5m in legal fees.

Asked whether the decision was an answer to the criticism levelled against his office about sums spent on foreign lawyers, Clerides said he had heard statements, which he described as malicious, of tens of millions being spent on the criminal investigation into the collapse of the economy with little result. “This is totally untrue,” he said.

“Yes, we do spend some millions to defend the Republic. With today’s results we are getting it back. So let is stop these remarks made in bad faith. Unless of course some people would prepare to leave the Republic without the best possible defence and risk paying millions or billions,” he said.

And he added: “I am sorry that some people will be disappointed that they will be not find a reason today to attack the attorney general again,” he said.

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