22 April 2015
A failure of key government officials to attend caused for the third time the Cyprus Parliamentary hearings into what has become known as the ‘FBME affair’ to be cancelled. The hearings have been called by MPs who sit on the Parliamentary Merit Committee which oversees the actions of State officials and civil servants, and the stated aim has been to investigate the actions taken against FBME Bank and its Cyprus branch by the Central Bank of Cyprus.
The specific focus is on the hostile takeover and attempted sale of the Cyprus branch of FBME Bank by the Central Bank of Cyprus, and its arbitrary decisions taken without recourse to the Bank of Tanzania, FBME’s Home Supervisor, or the FBME owners and directors. These actions have brought about a situation where the Central Bank of Cyprus may have incurred severe financial risk to the Republic.
The hearings were supposed to have been held yesterday morning, 21 April, and were the third attempt by the Committee to hold such an event. The earlier aborted meetings were on 17 February and 30 March. The first hearing was cancelled by the MPs at the request of the Attorney General, Costas Clerides, who said information could come out that would harm Cyprus’ case in legal cases. The rearranged meeting in late March was made with the proviso that it would be held in private. But because senior officials, including the Governor of the Central Bank and the Attorney General, failed to show up the meeting was again shelved.
Now, it has happened again. This third attempt was stymied by no-shows from the Minister of Finance, the Attorney General and the Head of Mokas, the Cyprus Republic’s financial crime fighting agency, Eva Papakyriacos. The Governor of the Central Bank and the body’s current and former Directors did appear, but the MPS decided that the meeting had to be abandoned once more.
MPs have reacted strongly in media interviews to this latest cancellation. This website lists below links to some of the media stories that have appeared in Cyprus on these developments:
Further updates will follow.