Cyprus Court Orders Arrest of Former Central Bank Governor

A court in Limassol, Cyprus today ordered the arrest of former Central Bank of Cyprus Governor Athanasios Orphanides after he failed to attend a hearing for a lawsuit brought against him.

A Limassol man filed the lawsuit in December 2012 after losing 400,000 euros ($542,000) on the purchase of Cyprus Popular Bank bonds, his lawyer Costas Melas told reporters today, without identifying his client. A lawsuit was also filed against former officials at the lender who were given until Nov. 14 to answer the plaintiff’s claim that he was misled by the bank over the purchase of the bonds, Melas said.

Cyprus Popular Bank bonds were converted into shares after the bank was absorbed by Bank of Cyprus and a levy imposed on uninsured depositors as part of Cyprus’s international rescue agreement in March. Orphanides, who is currently a senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management in the U.S., didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment. A spokesman at the Limassol District Attorney’s office, who asked not to be named in line with policy, said he couldn’t comment on the case.

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