Business in Cyprus

Cyprus: Leaders of the Supreme Court of Cyprus on the ” intent of the guilty ” in bad checks


In October 2015 the Supreme Court issued a decision canceling the decision of the court of first instance in respect of the innocence of two defendants accused in issuing bogus checks on behalf of a public company in Cyprus.

The trial court found the first accused, the director of the company, and his wife, also a representative of the company, not guilty of all charges, on the following basis: insufficient evidence for the plaintiff, both defendants knew when issuing the checks that the bank accounts did not have sufficient funds on value date. In fact, the opposite has been proved.

However, the Supreme Court has examined the main question, whether the accused was aware that they were writing checks where payment would not be possible due to lack of funds. To prove guilt or innocence it was necessary to establish the possibility of ‘malice’.

The Supreme Court in its conclusions stated, inter alia, the following

  1. lack of participation in the company’s finances are not relevant to the question of whether they had the necessary information; and
  2. the attitude of both defendants to the company and their status can justify the fact that they both knew, or at least should have been aware, that the bank account had been frozen at the time of signing the checks.

Consequently, the first-instance judgment was quashed; the two defendants were convicted as accomplices of the Company, and held to answer the case.

Thus, it can be argued, in this case, which marks the first time that the two defendants were prosecuted and convicted for the debts of the company, that this change is of paramount importance in the light of other cases considered against the same defendant for bad checks.


For further information on this topic please contact Ms. Nada Starovlah ([email protected]) at Soteris Pittas & Co L.L.C., by phone +357 25 028460 or by fax +357 25 028461

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