Cyprus court issues warrant for ex-central banker over investor suit

NICOSIA Fri Sep 27, 2013 5:03pm BST

Athanasios Orphanides, former Governor of the Bank of Cyprus and Cypriot economist, is seen in this picture taken April 11, 2012. REUTERS/Andreas Manolis

Athanasios Orphanides, former Governor of the Bank of Cyprus and Cypriot economist, is seen in this picture taken April 11, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Andreas Manolis

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NICOSIA (Reuters) - A court in Cyprus issued an arrest warrant on Friday against a former central bank governor after he did not appear at a hearing in a lawsuit brought by an investor hit by the island's economic crisis.

A judge in the coastal town of Limassol issued the warrant not on the merits of the case, but after ex-banker Athanasios Orphanides did not show at the hearing scheduled for Friday, according to Cyprus' state news agency.

The plaintiff in the case held bonds in the now-defunct Laiki Bank and claims he was defrauded of 400,000 euros by Laiki executives, and by extension the regulator, the central bank, the agency said.

Orphanides headed Cyprus's central bank from 2007 to 2012, when his contract expired, and now teaches global economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston. He did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The lawyer for the plaintiff also could not immediately be reached for comment.

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for November 14.

Laiki Bank, once Cyprus's second-largest lender but crippled by its exposure to Greece in the group financial crisis, was wound down under terms of a 10-billion-euro international bailout in March.

Thousands of people with deposits exceeding the insurable limit of 100,000 euros lost their savings.

(Reporting by Michele Kambas; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

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